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close this bookABC of Women Workers' Rights and Gender Equality (ILO; 2000; 124 pages)
View the documentThe International Labour Organization
View the documentILO Publications
View the documentPreface to the earlier ABC of women workers' rights
View the documentPreface to the new ABC of women workers' rights and gender equality
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction: Labour standards promoting women workers' rights and gender equality (Ingeborg Heide1)
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View the documentHarassment and pressure (bullying, mobbing)
View the documentHome work
View the documentHousework
View the documentHuman resources development
View the documentHygiene in the workplace
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Home work

Home work is work performed for remuneration, carried out at home or in other premises of the worker's choice, and resulting in a product or service specified by the employer. The difference between a dependent homeworker and an independent worker is determined by their degree of autonomy and economic independence.

In the area of home work, national policies should be designed, implemented and periodically reviewed to promote, as far as possible, equality of treatment between homeworkers and other wage earners and to improve the home-worker's situation, particularly with regard to:

• freedom of association;
• protection against discrimination;
• equal remuneration for work of equal value;
• statutory social security protection;
• occupational safety and health;
• minimum age and maternity protection;
• access to training.

Due to its hidden character and varied manifestations, home work may be difficult to identify and to include in labour statistics. Studies indicate, however, that the large majority of homeworkers are women and particularly women with young children (about 90 per cent of the worldwide average). Women with disabilities are also disproportionately represented. This female-dominated form of work is characterized by long working hours and poor remuneration, limited access to social security, welfare and similar benefits, safety and health problems, isolation and, in consequence, difficulties in organizing and bargaining effectively.

C. 177: Home Work, 1996
R. 184: Home Work, 1996

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