Eight key messages and findings emerge from the report:
- Maternity leave is a universal human and labour right, and yet it remains unfulfilled
- Paternity leave is key to enabling men’s care rights and responsibilities
- Parental leave and other special care leave can also help balance the work and family responsibilities of mothers and fathers over their life course; The workplace is an important entry point to promote safety and health and save lives
- Breastfeeding-friendly workplaces provide time, income security and space to enable positive nutrition and health outcomes
- Childcare services are vital to child development, women’s employment and job creation
- Long-term care services are essential to ensure the right to healthy ageing in dignity and independent living
Based on an ILO legal survey of 185 countries, the report reviews progress made around the world over the past decade while assessing the persisting and significant legal gaps that translate into a lack of protection and support for millions of workers with family responsibilities across the world.
It takes the requirements and principles of relevant international labour standards – in particular the ILO Conventions and Recommendations on maternity protection and workers with family responsibilities – as the benchmark. The report pays attention to the most frequently excluded workers, such as the self-employed, workers in the informal economy, migrants, and adoptive and LGBTQI+ parents.
It concludes with a call for action to invest in a transformative package of care policies that is central to the broader international agenda on investing in the care economy – a breakthrough pathway for building a better and more gender equal world of work.