For over 20 years, Clarkslegal has been an integral part of the UK delegation to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the United Nations agency which sets international labour standards and monitors compliance with them.
Our role is to support the CBI as it represents UK employers in this vital work. Lawyers from the firm attend two-week sessions of the International Labour Conference, where international labour standards are hammered out by discussion and debate between governments, employers’ organisations and workers’ organisations.
This gives Clarkslegal unique insight into global horizons that can be expected to affect UK employers, as new international law is often translated into changes in domestic legislation. With the UK moving to new trading arrangements, this will become increasingly important because trade agreements with the EU include requirements to comply with ILO labour standards.
Today marks the culmination of two years’ vital work as the ILO adopts a new convention on violence and harassment in the world of work. This is the first new global labour standard since 2011.
From the outset, the CBI has recognised the need for effective protections from violence and harassment at work. While the UK has a strong floor of workplace protections for vulnerable groups, UK businesses want to be confident that they and their supply chain uphold the best possible protection through international labour standards.
Michael Sippitt, chairman of Clarkslegal, and I are proud to have assisted the CBI in ensuring that this new piece of international law increases protections from violence and harassment at work, reminds governments that they have a responsibility to promote a general environment of zero tolerance and links employers’ responsibility to matters that are within their control.
For further information on strategic and international employment matters, please contact our employment team.