Decent work is integral to poverty reduction efforts and is a key mechanism for achieving equitable, inclusive and sustainable development. It involves opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, provides security in the workplace and social protection for workers and their families, produces better perspective for personal development and social integration, and gives people the freedom to express their concerns, to organize and to participate in decisions that affect their lives.
The 2008 ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization suggested the establishment of indicators to track progress made in promoting decent work due to an increased insistence to deliver quality and decent job. The ILO convened an international Tripartite Meeting of Experts (TME) on the Measurement of Decent Work in September 2008. It gathered experts’ views and recommendations on the conceptual framework proposed by the ILO. Later in the year, the ILO Governing Body and the 18th International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) adopted the proposed framework of Decent Work Indicators.
The measurement framework on decent work covers ten substantive elements corresponding to the four strategic pillars of the Decent Work Agenda: employment opportunities; adequate earnings and productive work; decent hours; combining work, family and personal life; work that should be abolished; stability and security of work; equal opportunity and treatment in employment; safe work environment; social security; and, social dialogue, workers’ and employers’ representation. An additional element, economic and social context of decent work, helps determine what constitute decency in society as well as the extent to which the achievement of decent work enhances national economic, social and labor market performance.
Pillars of Decent Work
Employment - promotes the creation of sustainable enterprises and increased efficiencies in the economy (requisites if countries are to move out of poverty). It also explores opportunities for increased investments in human resource development and improved working conditions and seeks to achieve full and productive employment.
Rights at work - aims to strengthen observance of the constitutionally protected rights of workers. It seeks to ensure the ratification of core and governance conventions and respect for fundamental principles and rights at work.
Social protection - seeks to improve access to social protection mechanisms, improved wages, better working conditions and expanded employment opportunities for all.
Social dialogue - seeks to strengthen tripartism and broaden representation of workers as a tool for attaining employment goals.