ILO Convention on Home Work

The text of the ILO Convention given below becomes legally binding when ratified. The Convention was supplemented by a more detailed Recommendation which is not legally binding, but establishes guidelines for good practice.

The General Conference of the International Labour Organization,

Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Eighty-third Session on 4 June 1996, and

Recalling that many international labour Conventions and Recommendations laying down standards of general application concerning working conditions are applicable to homeworkers, andpic234

Noting that the particular conditions characterizing home work make it desirable to improve the applications of those Conventions and Recommendations to homeworkers, and to supplement them by standards which take into account the special characteristics of home work, and

Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to home work, which is the fourth item on the agenda of the session, and

Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of an international Convention;

adopts this twentieth day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and ninety-six, the following Convention, which may be cited as the Home Work Convention, 1996:

Article 1

For the purposes of this Convention:

(a) the term “home work” means work carried out by a person, to be referred to as a homeworker,

(i) in his or her home or in other premises of his or her own choice, other than the workplace of the employer;

(ii) for remuneration;

(iii) which results in a product or service as specified by the employer, irrespective of who provides the equipment, materials or other inputs used,

unless this person has the degree of autonomy and of economic independence necessary to be considered an independent worker under national laws, regulations or court decisions;

(b) persons with employee status do not become homeworkers within the meaning of this Convention simply by occasionally performing their work as employees at home, rather than in their usual workplaces;

(c) the term “employer” means a person, natural or legal, who, either directly or through an intermediary, whether or not intermediaries are provided for in national legislation, gives out home work in pursuance of his or her business activity.

Article 2

This Convention applies to all persons carrying out home work within the meaning of Article 1.

Article 3

Each Member which has ratified this Convention shall adopt, implement and periodically review a national policy on home work aimed at improving the situation of homeworkers, in consultation with the most representative organizations of employers and workers and, where they exist, with organizations concerned with homeworkers, and those of employers of homeworkers.

Article 4

1. The national policy on home work shall promote, as far as possible, equality of treatment between homeworkers and other wage earners, taking into account the special characteristics of home work and, where appropriate, conditions applicable to the same or a similar type of work carried out in an enterprise.

2. Equality of treatment shall be promoted, in particular, in relation to:

(a) the homeworkers’ right to establish or join organizations of their own choosing and to participate in the activities of such organizations;

(b) protection against discrimination in employment and occupation;

(c) protection in the field of occupational safety and health;

(d) remuneration;

(e) statutory social security protection

(f) access to training;

(g) minimum age for admission to employment or work; and

(h) maternity protection.

Article 5

The national policy on home work shall be implemented by means of laws and regulations, collective agreements, arbitration awards or in any other appropriate manner consistent with national practice.

Article 6

Appropriate measures shall be taken so that labour statistics include, to the extent possible, home work.

Article 7

National laws and regulations on safety and health at work shall apply to home work, taking account of its special characteristics, and shall establish conditions under which, certain types of work and the use of certain substances may be prohibited in home work for reasons of safety and health.

Article 8

Where the use of intermediaries in home work is permitted, the respective responsibilities of employers and intermediaries shall be determined by laws and regulations or by court decisions, in accordance with national practice.

Article 9

1. A system of inspection consistent with national law and practice shall ensure compliance with the laws and regulations applicable to home work.

2. Adequate remedies, including penalties where appropriate, in case of violation of these laws and regulations shall be provided for and effectively applied.

Article 10

This Convention does not affect more favourable provisions applicable to homeworkers under other international labour Conventions.

This text has been taken from Provisional Record 10A of the International Labour Conference (Eighty-Third Session, Geneva, 1996). Articles 11 to 18 are merely procedural and have been omitted.

ILO Recommendation on Home Work

The General Conference of the International Labour Organization,

Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Eighty-third Session on 4 June 1996, and

Recalling that many international labour Conventions and Recommendations laying down standards of general application concerning working conditions are applicable to homeworkers, and

Noting that the particular conditions characterizing home work make it desirable to improve the application of those Conventions and Recommendations to homeworkers, and to supplement them by standards which take into account the special characteristics of home work, and

Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to home work, which is the fourth item on the agenda of the session, and

Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of a Recommendation supplementing the Home Work Convention of 1996:

adopts, this twentieth day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and ninety-six, the following Recommendation, which may be cited as the Home Work Recommendation, 1996:

I. Definitions and Scope of Application

1. For the purposes of this Recommendation:

(a) the term “home work” means work carried out by a person, to be referred to as a homeworker,

(i) in his or her home or in other premises of his or her own choice, other than the workplace of the employer;

(ii) for remuneration;

(iii) which results in a product or service as specified by the employer, irrespective of who provides the equipment, materials or other inputs used,

unless this person has the degree of autonomy and of economic independence necessary to be pic645considered an independent worker under national laws, regulations or court decisions;

(b) persons with employee status do not become homeworkers within the meaning of this Recommendation simply by occasionally performing their work as employees at home, rather than at their usual workplaces;

(c) the term “employer” means a person, natural or legal, who, either directly or through an intermediary, whether or not intermediaries are provided for in national legislation, gives out home work in pursuance of his or her business activity.

2. This Recommendation applies to all persons carrying out home work within the meaning of Paragraph

II. General Provisions

3. (1) Each Member should, according to national law and practice, designate an authority or authorities entrusted with the formulation and implementation of the national policy on home work referred to in Article 3 of the Convention.

(2) As far as possible, use should be made of tripartite bodies or organizations of employers and workers in the formulation and implementation of this national policy.

(3) In the absence of organizations concerned with homeworkers or organizations of employers of homeworkers, the authority or authorities referred to in subparagraph (1) should make suitable arrangements to permit these workers and employers to express their opinions on this national policy on home work and on the measures adopted to implement it.

4. Detailed information, including data classified according to sex, on the extent and characteristics of home work should be compiled and kept up to date to serve as a basis for the national policy on home work and for the measures adopted to implement it. This information should be published and made publicly available.

pic645435. (1) A homeworker should be kept informed of his or her specific conditions of employment in writing or in any other appropriate manner consistent with national law and practice.

(2) This information should include, in particular:

(a) the name and address of the employer and the intermediary, if any;

(b) the scale or rate of remuneration and the methods of calculation; and

(c) the type of work to be performed.

III. Supervision of Home Work

6. The competent authority at the national level and, where appropriate, at the regional, sectoral or local levels, should provide for registration of employers of homeworkers and of any intermediaries used by such employers. For this purpose, such authority should specify the information employers should submit or keep at the authority’s disposal.

7. (1) Employers should be required to notify the competent authority when they give out home work for the first time.

(2) Employers should keep a register of all homeworkers, classified according to sex, to whom they give work.

(3) Employers should also keep a record of work assigned to a homeworker which shows:

(a) the time allocated;

(b) the rate of remuneration;

(c) costs incurred, if any, by the homeworker and the amount reimbursed in respect of them;

(d) any deductions made in accordance with national laws and regulations; and

(e) the gross remuneration due and the net remuneration paid, together with the date of payment.

(4) A copy of the record referred to in subparagraph (3) should be provided to the homeworker.

8. In so far as it is compatible with national law and practice concerning respect for privacy, labour inspectors or other officials entrusted with enforcing provisions applicable to home work should be allowed to enter the parts of the home or other private premises in which the work is carried out.

9. In cases of serious or repeated violations of the laws and regulations applicable to home work, appropriate measures should be taken, including the possible prohibition of giving out home work, in accordance with national law and practice.

IV. Minimum Age

10. National laws and regulations concerning minimum age for admission to employment or work should apply to home work.

V. The Rights to Organize and To Bargain Collectively

11. Legislative or administrative restrictions or other obstacles to:

a. the exercise of the right of homeworkers to establish their own organizations or to join the workers’ organizations of their own choice and to participate in the activities of such organizations; and

b. the exercise of the right of organizations of homeworkers to join trade union federations or confederations,

should be identified and eliminated.

12. Measures should be taken to encourage collective bargaining as a means of determining the terms and conditions of work of homeworkers.

VI. Remuneration

13. Minimum rates of wages should be fixed for home work, in accordance with national law and practice.

14. (1) Rates of remuneration of homeworkers should be fixed preferably by collective bargaining, or in its absence, by:

(a) decisions of the competent authority, after consulting the most representative organizations of employers and of workers as well as organizations concerned with homeworkers and those of employers of homeworkers, or where the latter organizations do not exist, representatives of homeworkers and of employers of homeworkers; or

(b) other appropriate wage-fixing machinery at the national, sectoral or local levels.

(2) Where rates of remuneration are not fixed by one of the means in subparagraph (1) above, they should be fixed by agreement between the homeworker and the employer.

15. For specified work paid by the piece, the rate of remuneration of a homeworker should be comparable to that received by a worker in the enterprise of the employer, or if there is no such worker, in another enterprise in the branch of activity and region concerned.

16. Homeworkers should receive compensation for:

(a) costs incurred in connection with their work, such as those relating to the use of energy and water, communications and maintenance of machinery and equipment; and

(b) time spent in maintaining machinery and equipment, changing tools, sorting, unpacking and packing, and other such operations.

17. (1) National laws and regulations concerning the protection of wages should apply to homeworkers.

(2) National laws and regulations should ensure that pre-established criteria are set for deductions and should protect homeworkers against unjustified deductions for defective work or spoilt materials.

(3) Homeworkers should be paid either on delivery of each completed work assignment or at regular intervals of not more than one month.

18. Where an intermediary is used, the intermediary and the employer should be made jointly and severally liable for payment of the remuneration due to homeworkers, in accordance with national law and practice.

VII. Occupational Safety and Health

19. The competent authority should ensure the dissemination of guidelines concerning the safety and health regulations and precautions that employers and homeworkers are to observe. Where practicable, these guidelines should be translated into language understood by homeworkers.

20. Employers should be required to:

(a) inform homeworkers of any hazards that are known or ought to be known to tthe employer associated with the work given to them and of the precautions to be taken, and provide them, where appropriate, with the necessary training;

(b) ensure that machinery, tools or other equipment provided to homeworkers are equipped with appropriate safety devices and take reasonable steps to ensure that they are properly maintained; and

(c) provide homeworkers free of charge with any necessary personal protective equipment.

21. Homeworkers should be required to:

(a) comply with prescribed safety and health measures;

(b) take reasonable care for their own safety and health and that of other persons who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work, including the proper use of materials, machinery, tools and other equipment placed at their disposal.

22. (1) A homeworker who refuses to carry out work which he or she has reasonable justification to believe presents an imminent and serious danger to his or her safety or health should be protected from undue consequences in a manner consistent with national conditions and practice. The homeworker should report the situation to the employer without delay.

(2) In the event of an imminent and serious danger to the safety or health of a homeworker, his or her family or the public, as determined by a labour inspector or other public safety official, the continuation of home work should be prohibited until appropriate measures have been taken to remedy the situation.

VIII. Hours of Work, Rest Periods and Leave

23. A deadline to complete a work assignment should not deprive a homeworker of the possibility to have daily and weekly rest comparable to that enjoyed by other workers.

24. National laws and regulations should establish the conditions under which homeworkers should be entitled to benefit, as other workers, from paid public holidays, annual holidays with pay and paid sick leave.

IX. Social Security and Maternity Protection

25. Homeworkers should benefit from social security protection. This could be done by:

(a) extending existing social security provisions to homeworkers;

(b) adapting social security schemes to cover homeworkers; or

(c) developing special schemes or funds for homeworkers.

26. National laws and regulations in the field of maternity protection should apply to homeworkers.

X. Protection in Case of Termination of Employment

27. Homeworkers should benefit from the same protection as that provided to other workers with respect to termination of employment.

XI. Resolution of Disputes

28. The competent authority should ensure that there are mechanisms for the resolution of disputes between a homeworker and an employer or any intermediary used by the employer.

XII. Programmes Related to Home Work

29. (1) Each Member should, in cooperation with organizations of employers and workers, promote and support programmes which:

(a) inform homeworkers of their rights and the kinds of assistance available to them;

(b) raise awareness of home-work-related issues among employers’ and workers’ organizations, non-governmental organizations and the public at large;

(c) facilitate the organization of homeworkers in organizations of their own choosing, including cooperatives;

(d) provide training to improve homeworkers’ skills (including non-traditional skills, leadership and negotiating skills), productivity, employment opportunities and income-earning capacity;

(e) provide training which is carried out as close as practicable to the workers’ homes and does not require unnecessary formal qualifications;

(f) improve homeworkers’ safety and health such as by facilitating their access to equipment, tools, raw materials and other essential materials that are safe and of good quality;

(g) facilitate the creation of centres and networks for homeworkers in order to provide them with information and services and reduce their isolation;

(h) facilitate access to credit, improved housing and childcare; and

(i) promote recognition of home work as valid work experience.

(2) Access to these programmes should be ensured to rural homeworkers.

(3) Specific programmes should be adopted to eliminate child labour in home work.

30. Where practicable, information concerning the rights and protection of homeworkers and the obligations of employers towards homeworkers, as well as the programmes referred to in Paragraph 29, should be provided in languages understood by homeworkers.