Ceccon, D., & Ahmad, I. (2018). Do Collective Agreements increase Equality and promote Work-Life Balance ? Evidence from WageIndicator Database. Paper for IREC, 2018, Leuven (Belgium), 10-12 September 2018. WageIndicator Foundation, Amsterdam

Ceccon, D., & Ahmad, I. (2018). Do Collective Agreements increase Equality and promote Work-Life Balance ? Evidence from WageIndicator Database. Paper prepared for presentation at the “Industrial Relations in Europe Conference (IREC) 2018” at Leuven (Belgium) on 10-12 September 2018. WageIndicator Foundation, Amsterdam

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ABSTRACT

Women being discriminated because of pregnancy, working parents struggling to find the time to care for kids, employees whose career is spoiled by inequality in training opportunities: all over the world the lives of millions are affected by their working conditions. The responsibility to provide decent working provisions concerns the governments, in the first place. Ratifying ILO conventions is the first step a country can take in this regard, followed by enacting suitable legal regulations and enforcing those effectively.
However, national labour law is often not sufficient, either because it doesn’t cover all of the issues affecting workers, or because it is too general. The role of collective bargaining could then be crucial to improve the effect of the labour law, by giving better provisions, tackling the issues in a more detailed way, and adapting the regulations for the workers of a specific sector or company. But is this really happening? Are collective agreements improving the provisions of national regulations? Where is this tool being used in the most effective way?
This paper strives to answer these questions, focusing in particular on the capability of collective bargaining in guaranteeing equality in the workplace and improving the lives of women workers (and/or other workers with difficult work-life balance conditions) around the world. Gender equality, paternity/maternity leave, childcare provisions, discrimination, and sexual harassment are among of the topics examined in this research. The analysis covers the content of almost 900 collective agreements coming from more than 40 countries in Africa, Latin America, Europe and Asia. These agreements have been collected by the WageIndicator Foundation and are coded in the WageIndicator Collective Agreements Database.

Keywords: Collective agreements, Collective Agreements Database, equality, maternity leave, sexual harassment

 


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