Policy and technical assistance on maternity protection


Advocacy and awareness-raising

The ILO works at the global and national level on promoting and raising awareness of the principles of the International labour standard instruments on maternity protection and its effective implementation. Recent advocacy efforts have focussed on linking the contribution of maternity protection at work to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on gender equality (MDG3), Achieving Millennium Development Goal 4 through Decent Work and Achieving Millennium Development Goal 5 through Decent Work. At the global level, the ILO contributes to the Useful links for maternity protection on maternal and newborn health. At the national level, advocacy actions have included the preparation of workshops, videos, informational material and campaigns on the importance of maternity protection at work in countries such as Protecting Maternity in Cambodia’s Textile Factories, Uganda: Maternity leave brings protection to women security guards and their employer and the Maternity Protection in Tanzania.

National-level policy and technical advice

National-level policy and technical advisory services are provided to ILO constituents on demand or as part of the implementation of ILO Strategic Outcome “Women and men have improved and more equitable working conditions”. These services are also delivered as part of ILO participation in national joint activities of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). ILO technical assistance is designed to support member States in improving legislation, regulations, or policies regarding maternity protection. In recent years, these advisory services have been provided ILO constituents in many countries, such as Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jordan, Mozambique, Peru, the Philippines, Senegal, United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia, and Uruguay.

Training on maternity protection

The ILO has developed a training package on family-friendly measures (WISE-R Wise-R Action Manual Module 5 - Family-friendly measures + Wise-R Trainers' Guide Module 5 - Family-friendly Measures), which provides an extensive illustrated overview of practical and low-cost guidelines on implementing good practices in regards to work-family measures and maternity protection in small businesses. This training package is part of Improving working conditions at the workplace, a participatory methodology designed to help small- and medium-sized enterprises to simultaneously improve working conditions, workers’ well-being as well as productivity. This training package was pilot-tested in both Mozambique and United Republic of Tanzania and is now available to ILO constituents and other organizations.