This ILO policy brief addresses issues relating to public sector workers who perform frontline duties in confronting the COVID-19 crisis in the name of the State, often described as essential services. The brief discusses their role in dealing with the crisis, the measures that governments have taken to support their work and the ILO principles and tools, including international labour standards, that protect them. The brief further explains how organisations like PSI - which has launched a global campaign on its PeopleOverProfit platform, called “Safe Workers Save Lives” - are demanding that governments across the world take urgent COVID-related measures to protect workers.
These ILO Guidelines encourage governments and Public Emergency Service employers to provide workers with adequate means, tools and resources to be able to respond effectively to emergencies. They can be used by unions to lobby for increased protections for front line workers.