Former Lecturer of Law at Jimma University, School of Law with Masters Degree in Commercial and Investment Law.

Examining Workers Rights, Occupational Safety Measures and Benefits amid Covid-19 Under Ethiopian Labour Law



The outbreak of CODIV-19 has caused employment crisis worldwide as the virus is claiming thousands of lives and sickening a millions. The virus is causing global economic, social, health, and economic disruptions. The International Labour Organization has an estimate that up to 25 million jobs could be lost worldwide. In addition to the possible unemployment crisis, the safety and health of workers are at risk. Following the declaration of the virus as a Public Emergence of  International Concern  and pandemic by World Health Organization, countries are taking different measures including partial or full lockdown. Ethiopia is not an exception to this crisis, and the same measures are being taken by the government.

During crisis, Labor Law responds with safety and health measures, benefits and rights for workers. However, CODIV-19 pandemic has brought new challenges to some static provisions of the labor law, including the ILO protocols and guidelines. The Ethiopian labor proclamation has also suffered from some lacuna to combat the CODIV-19 pandemic having static provisions in normal cases. Hence, the discussion as to new challenges posed by the new pandemic to the Ethiopian labor law, the adequacy of existing legal responses available, the safety and health measures needs to be taken, and the workers' rights and benefits related with this outbreak is imperative and timely.

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