End discrimination, frame specific policies for LGBTIQ+ workers: ILO

What is the News?

International Labour Organisation (ILO) has released a document on “Inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) persons in the world of work.” The document provides certain recommendations to ensure equal opportunities and treatment for LGBTIQ+ persons at work.

What is the need for ILO document?

Around the world, LGBTIQ+ persons face harassment, violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics.

This Discrimination has an economic cost not just to LGBTIQ+ persons and their families but also to enterprises and national economies.

Read more: Madras High Court guidelines for mainstreaming LGBTIQA+ community
What are the recommendations of ILO on the inclusion of LGBTIQ+ community?

Launch social protection programmes: The ILO recommended member countries, employers’ organisations and representatives of workers to launch social protection programmes to remove barriers that LGBTIQ+ persons.

Social dialogue with employers’ and workers’ organisations: Consultation with LGBTIQ+ communities and social dialogue with employers’ and workers’ organisations will allow the identification of barriers faced by LGBTIQ+ persons. Especially when entering the labour market and accessing government schemes, including those on social protection.

Focus on the informal economy: The governments have to work with small and medium industry associations, sectoral unions and informal economy workers’ associations to monitor discrimination in the informal economy and address stigma and discrimination related to gender and sexual identity.

End sexual discrimination: Studies have shown that diversity in the workplace, including LGBTIQ+ persons, is better for business. It signals a creative environment that creates the right conditions for economic growth.

Hence, Employers’ organisations should encourage ending sexual discrimination in workplaces. Further, organisations can provide policy guidance to their members, to raise awareness on including LGBTIQ+ persons in workplaces.

Role of Trade unions: The ILO asked trade unions to help LGBTIQ+ workers to organise and exercise their right to freedom of association.

Workers’ associations should also ensure that issues affecting LGBTIQ+ workers are represented in collective bargaining agreements with employers and in workplace policies.

Source: The post is based on the article “End discrimination, frame specific policies for LGBTIQ+ workers: ILO” published in The Hindu on 25th May 2022.

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