Rights of home-based workers

Slovenia signs ILO Home Work Convention No. 177

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a shift in work modalities. As workplaces became potential contaminators, home-based work became a preferred option both for employees and employers. However, not all national legislations have been prepared to provide solutions and employers confronted a legal void as they tried to adapt to the new circumstances. The ILO Convention No. 177 aims to promote and protect the rights of those who work at home. On 14 April 2021, ILO Director General Guy Ryder and Slovenian Minister Plenipotentiary, Damir Devčič signed the ILO Convention on Home Work.

News | 20 April 2021


Traditionally, home-based work involved labour-intensive activities in garments, textiles and footwear manufacturing, as well as skilled artisan production.  Today, home-based work can be found in high-end modern industries, including manufacturing of airline and automobile parts, assembly work in electronics, and packaging work in pharmaceuticals. In developed countries such as EU member Slovenia, clerical and higher-skilled work in information technology, telecommunication, telemarketing and technical consulting may be home-based.

The ILO Convention defines who a homeworker is: someone who carries out work in their home or in other premises of choice, other than the workplace of the employer; for remuneration; resulting in a service or a product as specified by the employer.  

C177 on Home Work calls for these workers to enjoy the same labour rights as other wage workers, including:
  • Fair remuneration
  • Minimum age of admission to work
  • Social security and maternity benefits
  • Hours of work, rest periods and paid annual leave
  • Occupational safety and health ensured
  • The right to organize, to bargain collectively and for dispute resolution, and
  • Non-discrimination.
To increase the visibility of these workers, C177 also calls for the inclusion of homeworkers in national labour statistics, which is essential for informed policy-making.

Slovenia was the 11th country to sign ILO Convention No. 177. From Central and Eastern Europe, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria and North Macedonia ratified it to date.