by Teresa Coelho Moreira, Professor of Labour Law, University of Minho
The world is facing an unprecedented pandemic crisis with global effects and that already reached almost all countries in the world. This situation has reflected in all areas but we are going to analyse some aspects related with Labour Law, and what Portugal is doing to face this situation.
Recently on 23 March, the ILO issued a paper entitled ILO Standards and COVID-19 (coronavirus) and emphasized that the Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience Recommendation, 2017 (No. 205) on the Preamble and Paragraphs 7, b and 43, establishes that “crisis responses need to ensure respect for all human rights and the rule of law, including respect for fundamental principles and rights at work and for international labour standards”.
Today, we are living a truly tsunami in terms of economic crisis with this virus and no one knows when and if it is going to stop and how the world is going to be. However, one thing is sure. We are going to face a huge economic crisis with reflection in the world of work. Millions of people around the world are going to be unemployed. According with the ILO we can have “a rise in global unemployment of between 5.3 million (“low” scenario) and 24.7 million (“high” scenario) from a base level of 188 million in 2019. By comparison, the 2008-9 global financial crisis increased global unemployment by 22 million”[i]. With this scenario, falls in employment also mean large income losses for workers that translate into falls in consumption of goods and services, in turn affecting the prospects for businesses and economies.
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