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Working from home: From invisibility to decent work

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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, many in the world’s workforce have shifted to homeworking, thereby joining the hundreds of millions of workers who have already been working from home for decades.

This report seeks to improve understanding of home work as well as to offer policy guidance that can pave the way to decent work for homeworkers both old and new.

“A quarter century after Convention No. 177, this timely and comprehensive report on industrial homework, telework, and digital platforms illuminates tensions between working at home and earning a living, the gendered dimensions involved, and the gap between legal definitions and everyday experiences. As a guide to best practices, it underscores how social protection and labor standards for home workers can provide decent work for increasing numbers of people in the face of the gig economy, attenuated supply chains, and care deficits made more intense by the global pandemic. In defining the issue, the ILO offers tools for action. A stunning achievement.” —Eileen Boris, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA