An important aspect of joining the workforce is knowing what your rights as an employee are. Understanding your rights as an employee is crucial to a healthy and functioning workplace. Nonetheless, it’s important to note that each country has its own regulations and laws when it comes to their workforce. Despite this, there are certain regulations and laws that apply to the majority of the countries in the world.
The ILO (International Labour Organization) Governing Body has identified eight fundamental conventions covering subjects that are considered to be essential rights and principles at work. They are the following:
1. Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention
This fundamental convention sets forth the right for workers and employers to establish and join organizations of their own choosing without previous authorization. Further, they shall have the right to establish and join federations and confederations, which may in turn affiliate with international organizations of workers and employers.
2. Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention
This fundamental convention provides that workers shall enjoy adequate protection against acts of anti-union discrimination
3. Forced Labour Convention
This fundamental convention prohibits all forms of forced or compulsory labour. The convention also requires that the illegal extraction of forced or compulsory labour be punishable as a penal offence, and that ratifying states ensure that the relevant penalties imposed by law are adequate and strictly enforced.
4. Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
This fundamental convention prohibits forced or compulsory labour as a means of political coercion or education or as a punishment for holding or expressing political views or views ideologically opposed to the established political, social or economic system
5. Minimum Age Convention
This fundamental Convention sets the general minimum age for admission to employment or work at 15 years (13 for light work) and the minimum age for hazardous work at 18 (16 under certain strict conditions).
6. Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
The Convention requires ratifying states to provide the necessary and appropriate direct assistance for the removal of children from the worst forms of child labour and for their rehabilitation and social integration. It also requires states to ensure access to free basic education.
7. Equal Remuneration Convention
This fundamental convention requires ratifying countries to ensure the application of the principle of equal remuneration for men and women workers for work of equal value. The term ‘remuneration’ is broadly defined to include the ordinary, basic or minimum wage or salary.
8. Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention
This fundamental convention defines discrimination as any distinction, exclusion or preference made on the basis of race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin, which has the effect of nullifying or impairing equality of opportunity or treatment in employment or occupation.