Health August 20, 2020 | 9:00 am

UNDP warns about the lack of protection for informal workers in the DR

The UNDP report states that the informality rate in the country was 55.2% as of last January. EFE

  • The report indicates that the employment protection programs carried out by the Dominican Government have been focused on formal positions


“The problematic (economic) situation will continue after the national state of emergency is lifted. Many workers will have lost their jobs, and income will not be recovered immediately, even once economic activity restarts.”

This is the conclusion reached by the report “Economic and social impact of COVID-19 and policy options in the Dominican Republic,” prepared by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). It warns about the lack of protection of informal jobs.

Although informal workers can access food subsidies, if they are impoverished or vulnerable or fall into that situation, they do not receive any support to protect their jobs, as formal employees do, says the UNDP in the document.

“This will require the Government to adapt to the changing reality, monitoring the evolution of activity, the job market and household income so that those in situations of poverty and vulnerability continue to be supported,” he recommends.

It points out that the employment protection programs, carried out by the Dominican Government, have been focused on formal wage-earners, leaving out a large part of the country’s workers.

The UNDP report includes that the informality rate in the country, workers without contributions to the social security system through their employment, was 55.2% as of last January, which puts them in a particularly vulnerable situation in the current pandemic.

The highest informal employment rate is registered in the agriculture and livestock sector (86%), followed by construction (83%), transport and communications (71%), other services (67%), and hotels, bars, and restaurants (fifty %).

The analysis indicates that the COVID-19 crisis has created multiple challenges for the Dominican Republic. However, it highlights that the Government has reacted quickly to strengthen the health sector and compensate poor and vulnerable households for income loss.

However, he advises making some adjustments, among which he cites that “although poor and vulnerable households receive a monetary transfer, it can only be used to purchase food. In a context where cleanliness and hygiene are key to contain the spread of the virus, this restriction may not be adequate.”

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