Informal Economy & Decent Work: Challenges for Trade Unions. Arun Kumar, Actrav-ILO-Turin. What is Informal Economy?. Activities (&employment) outside the purview of fiscal & labour laws?
Arun Kumar, Actrav-ILO-Turin
Definition based on legal status of the enterprise sees - Informal economy as part of the household sector of unincorporated enterprises owned by households (includes own account workers, unpaid family labour, besides employees in informal enterprises).
…this however leaves out a large number of workers in other informal low paid, low productivity work situations such as home workers, domestic workers, casual daily wage labour not declared by employers in formal and informal enterprises.
Informal economy work linked with formal sectors
Very few trade unions play these roles or provide such services (although the unions are beginning to recognize the necessity for these new functions);
Source: 17th International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) in 2003
‘Informal’ does not mean there are no rules or norms regulating the activities of workers or enterprises - informal economy activities have their own political economy, their own rules, arrangements, institutions & structures for mutual help, trust, providing loans, training, enforcing obligations, etc
These aspects are also true of formal sector jobs in many cases.
Work that is productive,
gives fair income,
security in the workplace & social protection for the family,
equal opportunities & treatment,
better prospects for - personal devt & social integration,
freedom to organize and participate in decision making
…. a global social floor