What do labour standards mean?

Labour standards Definition, concept, importance and areas

Labour standards

-      A set of principles, rules, conditions, requirements, rights and basic obligations for workers and employers, which must be achieved as a minimum in the various aspects of work to ensure decent work.

Decent work

-      The work that respects the basic rights of the individual as a human being (both worker and employer). It respects the rights of workers to the basic work standards insuring the free and transparent selection of productive work in a work environment that enhances protection for workers, for their health and wellbeing, ensuring a decent life for them.

Labour standards indicators

A set of quantitative and qualitative measures to test compliance with labour standards.

Two types of labour standards:

-       Conventions (or Protocols)

are legally binding international treaties that may be ratified by member states. They lay down the basic principles to be implemented by ratifying countries. They are binding legal legislations (law, regulations, administrative decisions and other legal tools). Most of these are binding public orders, and failure to comply with result in administrative and other penalties.

-      Recommendations standards

These standards serve as non-binding guidelines that supplement the Convention by providing more detailed guidelines on how it could be applied. They can also be autonomous, i.e. not linked to a Convention. They may come in the form of guiding manuals and codes with moral commitment.

Guides can include both mandatory and optional criteria.

The importance of labour standards

  1. Labour standards are vital for achieving the descent work. As work is not a commodity that can be negotiated for highest profit or the lowest price, but rather a part of everyday life for everyone and a necessity for human dignity, wellbeing and development as human beings.
  2. Ensure work relationships based on the principle of equal opportunities, equality, fairness and balance.
  3. Ensure worker's rights for decent life and a descent, productive, freely and transparently chosen work. Enhance their job and social security and wellbeing.
  4. Promote the economic development plan in the Emirate of Sharjah by ensuring a stable, productive and balanced labour market governed by distinguished labour standards that contribute to improving productivity and economic performance. Such excellent labour standards and work environment ensuring the protection of wages, respect for equality, equal opportunities, transparency and other standards can promote greater satisfaction and happiness among workers, thus improving their performance and loyalty.

Labour standards conventions:

Labour standards covers many areas related to labour issues, including:

  1. Banning explicit or implicit forced labour
  2. Banning of discrimination in employment and occupation, and ensuring equal opportunities and equality
  3. Eliminate child labour and banning the worst forms of child labour
  4. Wages
  5. Work hours
  6. Criteria for the contractual relationship
  7. Systems and mechanisms of individual labour complaints
  8. Systems and mechanisms of collective complaints
  9. Compensation and benefits of work injuries
  10. Working woman
  11. Occupational health and safety
  12. Labour accommodation