Contact centres and jobs

ILO Forum agrees principles of regulation for call centre and telecom services employment

A tripartite meeting at the ILO looks to improve regulation of work relationships in a rapidly changing industry.

Press release | 04 November 2015
GENEVA (ILO News) - Employment relationships in the contact centres and telecommunications services need to be better regulated, an ILO forum on the industry has concluded. Innovative social dialogue approaches and mechanisms are also required to ensure workers in the industry enjoy the labour protections to which they are entitled.

The forum agreed on “the need to define and implement legislation to regulate non-standard forms of employment,” Forum Chair and head of the Legal Department of the Latvian ministry of Welfare, Edgars Korčagins, told ILO News.

The meeting, the Global Dialogue Forum on Employment Relationships in Telecommunications Services and in the Call Centre Industry, aimed to find areas of consensus on how best to underpin future policy making and related social dialogue in the sector.

Further support was given to “intensified and improved” workplace inspections and a need to promote workers' rights including for workers in non-standard forms of employment to enjoy the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

Worker and employer representatives at the forum also supported the conclusion that more data collection and analysis of employment practices in the field is necessary.

Korčagins added that the meeting acknowledged there are many categories of workers in contact centres and telecommunications services, including those who appreciate the flexibility of non-standard employment relationships and others who would prefer a standard relationship.

“I think these conclusions will allow all of these categories of workers to benefit, no matter what their preferences are,” he said.

The forum was held at the ILO in Geneva on 27-28 October. Its recommendations will be submitted to the ILO governing body for final approval.