The Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI), one of the country’s largest employers’ associations, recently highlighted the significant development of the Better Work programme’s activities over the past few months across the country.
Better Work Egypt (BWEG) is the third pillar of SLARIE, with a task of supporting employers’ compliance with international labour standards and national labour laws through advisory and training services.
A total of 40 companies from the garment industry and other sectors have joined BWEG so far. In the first phase, the programme has been offering its signatory advisory services on a virtual basis due to Egypt’s countrywide lockdown.
BWEG’s advisory services mostly focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and other occupational health and safety issues.
With over 60,000 industrial enterprises employing over 7 million workers, FEI has been supporting Egyptian industries throughout the years. It eventually started its collaboration with SLARIE/Better Work earlier in 2020, following a two-year pilot phase. Since then, FEI and BWEG joined hands to help enterprises in the textile and garment sector to make better use of future business opportunities.
The latter would come as a result from improved labor relations and levels of compliance with international labour standards and national labour laws.
FEI identified the COVID 19 pandemic as the biggest challenge to the full display of the BWEG’s potential in the past few months due to the impact of the health crisis on the sector in terms of order cancellations and decreased exports.
The pandemic had also hampered the complete action of BWEG across Egypt’s factory floor due to a lack of regularity of work in the country’s companies. Still, things have begun to change in August, when BWEG started to conduct its first unannounced, in-person assessments in its participating factories.
FEI has recently launched a survey through its liaison offices and Egypt’s industrial chambers with the aim of identifying the capacity-building needs required for the introduction of basic international labour standards in the country’s factories.
Trainings and cooperation with BWEG will then be further strengthened, with the programme increasing its impact across the factory floor of Egyptian firms.