Work and family

Pressures from an increasingly competitive work environment combined with lack of support for family responsibilities are leading to considerable conflicts and stresses for workers trying to “juggle” work with family responsibilities. It is sometimes assumed that in developing countries family responsibilities are not really a problem since workers can appeal to traditional family solidarity and find some relative who can help look after dependents. However, evidence suggests that family support for the domestic and caring responsibilities of those who work outside the home is less and less available and increasingly problematic, particularly in the urban areas.

Work-family measures are policy solutions intended to facilitate all workers' access to decent work by explicitly and systematically addressing and supporting their unpaid family responsibilities. ILO Convention on Workers with Family Responsibilities, 1981 (No. 156) and its accompanying Recommendation No. 165 provide considerable policy guidance and represent a flexible tool to support the formulation of policies that enable men and women workers with family responsibilities to exercise their right to engage, participate and advance in employment without discrimination.

What we do

The Conditions of Work and Employment Programme is working in partnership with the ILO tripartite partners and other concerned groups and organizations to promote policies and measures which are in line with relevant international labour standards.

What's new

  1. Achieving MDG 4 through Decent Work

    01 May 2010

    Despite progress in some regions, child mortality rates remain intolerably high in poor countries and among the poorest families. Most of these deaths can be prevented. Improving child protecti on and the status of women is key to achieving Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG4). The International Labour Organization supports efforts to reach MDG 4 with a focus on working mothers, health-care workers, combating child labour and extending social protection.

  2. Workplace solutions for childcare

    05 February 2010

    Workplace partnerships are effective for working parents considering childcare solutions. The focus of this book is on why workplace partners around the world have become involved in childcare and about the nature of programmes that have been implemented. Partnership is a key theme, and the authors highlight the fruitfulness of collaborations that combine the resources and capabilities of different actors. Ten countries, industrialized and developing, are examined through a national overview on policies and facilities for childcare and the implications for working parents, followed by case studies of specific workplaces.