The global economic and social crisis and its impact on labour inspection systems

During the crisis, companies have made difficult choices in an effort to reconcile the survival of firms with security of employment, wages and benefits. In many cases, employees who feared losing their jobs accepted lower wages or reduced working time rather than face the prospect of unemployment. Sometimes these decisions were made through negotiation or concession bargaining between unions and employers. In other cases, such decisions were taken unilaterally by management. Regardless how the decisions were made, there is a vital role for labour inspectors to ensure that these compromises, while perhaps necessary and consensual, do not violate the rights of workers.