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Only a fifth of countries provide sick pay - The big challenges for work in a pandemic

by Ceri Parker | Source: World Economic Forum

  • Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC, shares her thoughts on the exceptional challenges facing the world's workers.

  • A lack of access to healthcare and paid sick leave are among the concerns.

  • Job losses are set to exceed predictions of 25 million worlwide.

Making sure that sick people get the care they need and don't infect others is one of the key planks of containing COVID-19 - but the majority of the world's workers have little choice about putting in a shift, even if they feel unwell.

This is one of the worrying findings of a survey released by the International Trade Union Congress, which surveyed its members in 86 countries around the world to monitor government and employer responses to the pandemic.

According to the study, only 21% of countries are providing sick leave for all or some workers. The countries polled represent a swathe of the world's most powerful economies, including 28 out of 36 OECD countries and fifteen G20 countries.

Reflecting the severity of the situation, over half of all countries surveyed (53%) were containing the spread of the coronavirus with national lock-down measures such as the closure of schools and non-essential businesses.

Read the full article on World Economic Forum

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