Long before COVID-19, Haiti faced enormous economic hardship. Growth forecasts for 2020 were around -0.4% after a drop of 1.2% recorded during the year 2019. The recent series of socio-political crises and associated instability in the country has exacerbated the already fragile Haitian economy. Despite all difficulties and challenges, the garment sector showed strong resilience and the ability to adapt to the changing environment to continue operating.
Beyond firm-level impact, the worker survey conducted by Better Work Haiti shed light on the impact on workers and their families. The research covered a wide range of topics, including their financial situation, their concerns, and their outlook on the future as well as their mental and physical health.
Particular attention was paid to the functioning of social protection services in the sector. According to a recent analysis by Better Work, based on the data collected during the regular factory assessments, the percentage of non-compliance on Social Security and Other Benefits is critical (96%). The main root causes identified are related to registration, a miscalculation on contributions, late or delayed payments, and issues with social security agencies.
Better Work Haiti noted two new allegations on the core labor standard violations during the assessments.
This report presents the results of assessments, advisory, and training services provided to the 27 participating factories assessed during the period of October 2020 – to December 2021. Better Work Haiti conducted hybrid assessments and advisories during this period with the support of inspectors from the Ministry of Labor. Better Work Haiti noted two new allegations on the core labor standard violations during the assessments.
Throughout the crisis – disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and socio-political instability – Better Work Haiti has maintained regular contact with employers, workers, and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MAST) remotely to promote social dialogue and compliance at the individual factory level and, in parallel, increased constituents’ capacities by providing most of its services remotely. Better Work Haiti used a combination of full virtual advisory services as well as a hybrid model with a special collaboration with the inspectors from MAST.
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