Recovery of COVID-19 requires changes in the labor world, UN says

Presenting his policy brief on the impact of COVID-19 on the labor sector, Guterres highlighted how each worker and each business is affected in these times of pandemic.

According to what he said, it is estimated that those who work hard in the informal economy, often without rights at work and without social protection, suffered a 60% decrease in earnings, just in the first month of the crisis.

Women are especially affected as they work in many of the sectors most severely hit by the pandemic, and they also bear the greatest burden of increasing levels of unpaid work, the Secretary-General stressed.

Furthermore, he added, young people, people with disabilities and many others face enormous difficulties.

Due to the current crisis, Guterres said, many small and medium-sized companies, considered the engine of the global economy, will not be able to survive.

Mass unemployment and loss of income due to the expansion of COVID-19 are further eroding social cohesion and destabilizing countries and regions, he warned.

Guterres emphasized how many have adapted in innovative ways to changing circumstances, through telecommuting and other alternatives.

"But the most vulnerable are at risk of becoming increasingly vulnerable, and poor countries and communities are at risk of falling further behind," he warned.

In that sense, the top UN official called for action on three fronts.

First, he said, immediate support for at-risk workers, companies and jobs, to avoid closings, job losses and decreased income.

Second, he added, a greater focus on health is urgent, with safe workplaces and rights for women and vulnerable populations.

Then, thirdly, we must mobilize now for an inclusive, human-centered and sustainable recovery that harnesses the potential of new technologies to create decent jobs for all.

Before the pandemic, he stressed, inequalities, systematic gender discrimination, lack of opportunities for young people, stagnant wages, and climate change out of control were already on the rise.

COVID-19 exposed tremendous deficiencies, weaknesses and shortcomings, and now the world of work must recover better, called the UN Secretary General.

"With smart and timely action at all levels, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as our guide, we can emerge from this crisis stronger, with better jobs and a brighter, more equal and greener future for all," sentenced the head of the United Nations Organization.