Short-term Policy Responses to COVID-19 in the World of Work

The note prepared by ILO Decent Work Team for South Asia and India offers the possible actions that could be considered during COVID-19 crisis by the state governments. It has special focus on informal sector workers.

Along with the businesses, this crisis will affect quantity of jobs, quality of employment and put already vulnerable groups of workers at further risk. The impact on especially informal economy workers including women, youth and 55+ workers, migrant and workers with disabilities will need special attention. This note provides some of the short-term responses for urgent, large-scale and coordinated measures across three pillars:

• protecting and supporting jobs and incomes for workers - especially informal workers;
• protecting workers at workplace; and
• protecting businesses, especially small and micro enterprises.

It highlights specific vulnerable groups and cross cutting issues that need to be kept in mind while planning the responses. It lays down the importance of coordinated and comprehensive response by engaging in the process of social dialogue and brining in the voices of the marginalized and excluded groups. In times of crisis, International Labour Standards provide a strong foundation for key policy responses that focus on the crucial role of decent work in achieving a sustained and equitable recovery, limiting further increase in inequalities.