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Article

Colombia: Large informal sector fuels violations of labour rights for many workers

“State of the nation: Hard labour”, 13th February 2020

…“Long hours, low pay” sums up work in Colombia. The country languishes at the bottom of the OECD work-life balance scale in the Better Life Index, and is second only to Haiti in terms of inequality in Latin America, with a GINI score estimated at just under .50 by the World Bank…

But the bigger problem is that many working people toil in the ‘informal’ sector, cutting them off from a higher range of salary-linked benefits such as pensions, insurance and proper health plans. The National Administrative Statistical Department (DANE) puts the percentage of people in major metropolitan areas to whom this applies at around 46%, although a figure as high as 85% for rural areas is estimated by the Labour Ministry…

This year the government is bent on streamlining labour law to make it easier for companies to hire – and fire – employees and pull more workers into the public-private social security network…

Then there’s the annual minimum salary rise, which this year at 6% outstrips inflation and, according to business analysts, is a key factor driving down job slots and driving up the current 10,5% unemployment rate…