A convention and recommendation aimed at combating workplace violence and harassment were adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) at its centenary international labor conference. The convention, which is legally binding on member states, will take effect one year after two member states have ratified it. While not legally binding, the recommendation offers guidelines on how the convention could be applied.
The ILO, a tripartite United Nations agency, is responsible for setting global labor standards, some of which are increasingly used in developing international framework agreements between companies and global union federations.
Key features of the convention include the following:
─ Introduce laws that prohibit violence and harassment
─ Publish policies and adopt a comprehensive strategy to implement the measures
─ Establish enforcement and monitoring mechanisms, provide remedies and support for victims, and introduce sanctions
─ Offer tools, guidance, education and training
─ Provide effective inspection and investigation of alleged violence and harassment, and ensure workers have the right to remove themselves from a work situation that they reasonably believe presents an “imminent or serious danger to life, health or safety”
─ Adopt laws requiring employers to (i) take appropriate measures to prevent workplace violence and harassment, including the adoption of a workplace policy, and (ii) factor in violence and harassment and associated psychosocial risks in occupational health and safety procedures
Key features of the recommendation include the following: