Product/service offer: Conditions of work and non-discrimination

Presentation | 10 March 2021

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The challenge

Conditions of work are characterized by a high degree of informal employment in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) ranging from 20% in Serbia to 45% in Albania (EU average is 12%). Interventions to combat informality are often under-resourced and rely on enforcement without looking into incentives that could promote formalization. Overall, little evidence exists on what works and what does not work to promote formalization. Another key area of improving conditions of work in the region is wage policies. The minimum wages in some CEE countries remain low despite significant increases in wages. Official wage statistics often present a lower wage level due to the widely spread practice of under-declared employment. Social and labour market inclusion of ethnic minorities is a further key challenge in CEE. Roma as the largest ethnic minority in CEE face a relative poverty rate that is between 3 and 4 times higher than for other population groups. Roma women are more vulnerable than Roma men due to double discrimination: as women and as Roma.

Main interventions offered

1.  Customized technical assistance on wage policies including legislation, minimum and public wages, and collective bargaining
2.  Measuring and analysing the causes of informal employment as well as testing interventions to combat informality
3.  Promoting decent work opportunities for the most vulnerable groups of the labour market, e.g. ethnic minorities.

Contact: Mariko Ouchi, Senior Specialist, Conditions of work/Gender equality through