The report (please click here to access) entitled Lessons for Social Protection from the COVID-19 Lockdowns Report 1 of 2: State Relief (released in February, 2021) seeks to use COVID-19 and its attendant lockdowns in India as a crucial moment to assess the protective aspect of social protection, asking three interrelated questions:
First, what do the immediate relief measures put into place to cope with the impact of COVID-19 and the lockdowns tell us about the current state of social protection systems? Second, how did these measures effectively target and deliver relief in complex and constrained situations such as the lockdowns? Third, going forward, what lessons does this set of immediate relief measures offer not just for medium-term recovery but for designing, building and improving social protection systems?
The authors -- Gautam Bhan, Antara Rai Chowdhury, Neha Margosa, Kinjal Sampat and Nidhi Sohane -- chose to focus on three kinds of relief that are closely related to social protection: food, cash transfer and labour protections, analysing 181 announcements between March 20 and May 31, 2020, covering the four phased lockdowns announced by the Government of India. The archive focuses on announcements, circulars, notifications, and orders about these three kinds of relief.
Across them, the researchers employed three key analytical frames that structure the report; identification, defining entitlements, and delivery mechanisms – key components of the actually existing practice of any social protection system.
The first part focuses on identification, looking closely at eligibility criteria to be part of a relief scheme, verification processes, as well as the use of databases to direct relief. The second part looks at defining entitlements themselves, assessing what was given as relief, and consider the factors that led to this determination. The third part then looks at delivery mechanisms, focusing on the modes, processes, and actors responsible for ensuring the promised entitlement actually reached the right person within an appropriate time frame.
Relief measures implemented during the lockdown are a rich archive against which to assess each. These measures both continued, used and expanded existing systems of design and delivery but also innovated with “temporary” measures that created new categories of recipients, new forms of entitlements, and new mechanisms of delivery. It is crucial that we learn from both the continuities and innovations of the social protection measures implemented in this time in order to improve and expand these systems in a post-COVID world.
Kindly click here to access the ILO report Working from home: From invisibility to decent work (released in January 2021).
Please click here, here and here to read the key findings of the report entitled Time Use in India-2019, January-December 2019 (released in September 2020), prepared by National Statistical Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
Please click here to read the Briefing Note for Parliamentarians on Labour Law Reforms prepared by Working Peoples' Charter dated 21st September, 2020.
Please click here to access the Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on Labour 2019-20, The Code on Social Security 2019 (released in July 2020), Ninth Report, Seventeenth Lok Sabha.
Please click here to access the Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on Labour 2019-20, The Industrial Relations Code 2019 (released in April 2020), Eighth Report, Seventeenth Lok Sabha.
Please click here to access the Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on Labour 2019-20, The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code 2019 (released in February 2020), Fourth Report, Seventeenth Lok Sabha.
Please click here to access the Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on Labour 2018-19, The Code on Wages Bill 2017 (released in December 2018), Forty Third Report, Sixteenth Lok Sabha.
Please click here to access the Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on Labour 2014-15, The Factories (Amendment) Bill 2014 (released in December 2014), Third Report, Sixteenth Lok Sabha.
The key findings of the report entitled Tackling the COVID-19 youth employment crisis in Asia and the Pacific (released on 18th August, 2020) by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and International Labour Organisation (ILO), are as follows (please click here to access)
• Under 3-months containment scenario (short containment), in India, the equivalent of 4.1 million youth jobs may be lost, followed by Pakistan with 1.5 million jobs lost.
• Under 6-months containment scenario (long containment), in India, the equivalent of 6.1 million youth jobs may be lost, followed by Pakistan with 2.3 million jobs lost.
• In Fiji (29.8 percent), India (29.5 percent) and Mongolia (28.5 percent), the youth unemployment rate may rise to near 30 percent, and may be just over that level in Sri Lanka (32.5 percent) under short containment (3-months).
• Under long containment (6-months), youth unemployment rate may increase to 32.5 percent in India.
• The highest proportion of youth job loss among the seven sectors in India would be felt in agriculture (28.8 percent), followed by construction (24.6 percent), retail trade (9.0 percent), inland transport (5.7 percent), textiles and textile products (4.2 percent), other services (3.1 percent) and hotels and restaurants (1.9 percent). The other sectors of the economy would be responsible for 22.7 percent of youth job losses.
• Job loss among youth will continue throughout 2020 and could result in youth unemployment rates doubling. Between 10 and 15 million youth jobs (full-time equivalent) may be lost across 13 countries in Asia and the Pacific in 2020. These estimates are based on the expected fall in output and consequent decrease in labour demand for the year relative to a non-COVID-19 scenario. The estimates include large countries, such as India and Indonesia, as well as small ones such as Fiji and Nepal.
• Disruptions of work-based learning have also been significant, with impacts on the provision of apprenticeships and internships. Responses to a survey on the COVID-19 impact on staff development and training with public and private enterprises and other organizations indicate that, in India, two thirds of firm-level apprenticeships and three quarters of internships were completely interrupted. Despite this, six of ten companies in India continued to provide wages or stipends to apprentices and interns.
• The biggest challenges that firms cited as preventing continued apprenticeships and internships were (1) difficulties in delivering hands-on training, (2) infrastructure issues (in
• The Global survey on staff development and training in the context of COVID-19 pandemic for public and private enterprises and other organizations was launched by ten international and regional development partners, including ADB and the ILO. Responses cited in this report are based on a sample of 71 firms operating in India and 183 firms operating in the Philippines – noting that a different number of respondents answered each question. At the time of writing, survey results were not yet published.