R110 Recommendation concerning Conditions of Employment of Plantation Workers

Geneva, 24 giugno 1958

The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,

Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Forty-second Session on 4 June 1958, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals concerning the conditions of employment of plantation workers, which is the fifth item on the agenda of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of a Recommendation,
adopts this twenty-fourth day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and fifty-eight, the following Recommendation, which may be cited as the Plantations Recommendation, 1958:
The Conference recommends that each Member should apply the following provisions:

I. Preliminary Provisions

(1) For the purpose of this Recommendation, the term plantation includes any agricultural undertaking regularly employing hired workers which is situated in the tropical or subtropical regions and which is mainly concerned with the cultivation or production for commercial purposes of coffee, tea, sugarcane, rubber, bananas, cocoa, coconuts, groundnuts, cotton, tobacco, fibres (sisal, jute and hemp), citrus, palm oil, cinchona or pineapple; it does not include family or small-scale holdings producing for local consumption and not regularly employing hired workers.
(2) Each Member may, after consultation with the most representative organisations of employers and workers concerned, where such exist, make the Recommendation applicable to other plantations by:
(a) adding to the list of crops referred to in subparagraph (1) of this Paragraph any one or more of the following crops: rice, chicory, cardamom, geranium and pyrethrum, or any other crop;
(b) adding to the plantations covered by subparagraph (1) of this Paragraph classes of undertakings not referred to therein which, by national law or practice, are classified as plantations; and should inform the Director-General of the International Labour Office of the action taken under this subparagraph in its reports submitted in accordance with article 19, paragraph 6, of the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation.
(3) For the purpose of this Paragraph the term plantation ordinarily includes services carrying out the primary processing of the product or products of the plantation.
2. Each Member should apply the provisions of this Recommendation equally to all plantation workers without distinction as to race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, nationality, social origin, tribe or trade union membership.
3. Each Member of the International Labour Organisation should report to the International Labour Office, at appropriate intervals, as requested by the Governing Body, the position of the law and practice in the countries and territories for which the Member is responsible in regard to the matters dealt with in the Recommendation. Such reports should show the extent to which effect has been given, or is proposed to be given, to the provisions of this Recommendation and such modification of those provisions as it has been found or may be found necessary to make in adopting or applying them.
4. In accordance with article 19, paragraph 8, of the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation, nothing in this Recommendation affects any law, award, custom or agreement which ensures more favourable conditions to the workers concerned than those provided for in this Recommendation.

II. Vocational Training

5. In each country the public authorities, other appropriate bodies, or a combination of both, should ensure that vocational training is provided and organised in an effective, rational, systematic and co-ordinated programme.
(1) In underdeveloped areas lacking training facilities one of the first steps should be the creation of a body of trained teachers and instructors.
(2) Even where such trained teachers and instructors are not available all possible assistance should be given to the development of training facilities on plantations where the operator is adequately qualified to provide practical instruction.
7. Responsibility for the training programmes should be entrusted to the authority or authorities capable of obtaining the best results and, in cases where the responsibility is entrusted to several authorities jointly, measures for ensuring co-ordination of the training programmes should be taken. Local authorities should collaborate in the development of the training programmes. Close collaboration should be maintained with the organisations of employers and workers concerned and with other interested organisations, where such exist.
8. While local financial contributions to training programmes are in many places called for, the public authorities, to the extent considered appropriate and necessary, should also assist public and private training programmes in such ways as: making available financial contributions; contributing land, buildings, transport, equipment and teaching material; contributing through scholarships or otherwise to the living expenses or wages of trainees during the course of training, and making entry into residential plantation schools free of charge to appropriately qualified trainees, especially those who cannot afford to pay for the training.

III. Wages

9. The maximum intervals for the payment of wages should ensure that wages are paid:
(a) not less often than twice a month at intervals not exceeding 16 days in the case of workers whose wages are calculated by the hour, day or week; and
(b) not less often than once a month in the case of employed persons whose remuneration is fixed on a monthly or annual basis.
(1) In the case of workers whose wages are calculated on a piecework or output basis, the maximum intervals for the payment of wages should, so far as possible, be so fixed as to ensure that wages are paid not less often than twice a month at intervals not exceeding 16 days.
(2) In the case of workers employed to perform a task the completion of which requires more than a fortnight, and in respect of whom intervals for the payment of wages are not otherwise fixed by collective agreement or arbitration award, appropriate measures should be taken to ensure:
(a) that payments are made on account, not less often than twice a month at intervals not exceeding 16 days, in proportion to the amount of work completed; and
(b) that final settlement is made within a fortnight of the completion of the task.
11. The details of the wages conditions which should be brought to the knowledge of the workers should include, wherever appropriate, particulars concerning:
(a) the rates of wages payable;
(b) the method of calculation;
(c) the periodicity of wage payments;
(d) the place of payment; and
(e) the conditions under which deductions may be made.
12. In all appropriate cases workers should be informed, with each payment of wages, of the following particulars relating to the pay period concerned, in so far as such particulars may be subject to change:
(a) the gross amount of wages earned;
(b) any deduction which may have been made, including the reasons therefor and the amount thereof; and
(c) the net amount of wages due.
13. Employers should be required in appropriate cases to maintain records showing, in respect of each worker employed, the particulars specified in the preceding Paragraph.
(1) The necessary measures should be taken to ensure the proper payment of all wages earned and employers should be required to keep registers of wage payments, to issue to workers statements of wage payments and to take other appropriate steps to facilitate the necessary supervision.
(2) Wages should normally be paid in cash only and direct to the individual worker.
(3) Unless there is an established local custom to the contrary, the continuance of which is desired by the workers, wages should be paid regularly at such intervals as will lessen the likelihood of indebtedness among the wage earners.
(4) Where food, housing, clothing and other essential supplies and services form part of remuneration, all practicable steps should be taken by the competent authority to control strictly their adequacy and their cash value.
(5) All practicable measures should be taken:
(a) to inform the workers of their wage rights;
(b) to prevent any unauthorised deductions from wages; and
(c) to restrict the amounts deductible from wages in respect of supplies and services forming part of remuneration to the cash value thereof.
(1) Voluntary forms of thrift among wage earners should be encouraged.
(2) The maximum amounts and manner of repayment of advances on wages should be regulated by the competent authority.
(3) The competent authority should limit the amount of advances which may be paid to a worker who has been engaged from outside the territory. The amount of any such advances should be clearly explained to the worker. Any advance made in excess of the amount laid down by the competent authority should be irrecoverable at law.
(4) All practicable measures should be taken for the protection of wage earners against usury, in particular by action aiming at the reduction of rates of interest on loans, by the control of the operations of money-lenders, and by the encouragement of facilities for borrowing money for appropriate purposes through co-operative credit organisations or through institutions which are under the control of the competent authority.
16. For the purpose of determining minimum rates of wages to be fixed it is desirable that the wage-fixing body should in any case take account of the necessity of enabling the workers concerned to maintain a suitable standard of living.
17. Among the factors which should be taken into consideration in the fixing of minimum wage rates are the following: the cost of living, fair and reasonable value of services rendered, wages paid for similar or comparable work under collective bargaining agreements, and the general level of wages for work of a comparable skill in the area where the workers are sufficiently organised.
18. Whatever form it may assume, the minimum wage fixing machinery should operate by way of investigation into conditions on plantations and consultation with the parties who are primarily and principally concerned, namely employers and workers, or their most representative organisations, where such exist. The opinion of both parties should be sought on all questions concerning minimum wage fixing and full and equal consideration given to their opinion.
19. To secure greater authority for the rates that may be fixed, in cases where the machinery adopted for fixing minimum wages makes it possible, the workers and employers concerned should be enabled to participate directly and on an equal footing in the operation of such machinery through their representatives, who should be equal in number or in any case have an equal number of votes.
20. In order that the employers' and workers' representatives should enjoy the confidence of those whose interest they respectively represent, in the case referred to in Paragraph 19 above, the employers and workers concerned should have the right, in so far as circumstances permit, to participate in the nomination of the representatives, and, if any organisations of employers and workers exist, these should in any case be invited to submit names of persons recommended by them for appointment on the wage-fixing body.
21. In the case where the machinery for minimum wage fixing provides for the participation of independent persons, whether for arbitration or otherwise, these should be chosen from among men or women who are recognised as possessing the necessary qualifications for their duties and who have no such interest in plantations and related undertakings as would give rise to doubt as to their impartiality.
22. Provision should be made for a procedure for revising minimum wage rates at appropriate intervals.
23. For effectively protecting the wages of the workers concerned, the measures to be taken to ensure that wages are not paid at less than the minimum rates which have been fixed should include:
(a) arrangements for giving publicity to the minimum wage rates in force, and in particular for informing the employers and workers concerned of these rates in the manner most appropriate to national circumstances;
(b) official supervision of the rates actually being paid; and
(c) penalties for infringements of the rates in force and measures for preventing such infringements.
24. All necessary measures should be taken to limit deductions from wages to the extent deemed to be necessary to safeguard the maintenance of the worker and his family.
(1) Deductions from wages for the reimbursement of loss of or damage to the products, goods or installations of the employer should be authorised only when loss or damage has been caused for which the worker concerned can be clearly shown to be responsible.
(2) The amount of such deductions should be fair and should not exceed the actual amount of the loss or damage.
(3) Before a decision to make such a deduction is taken, the worker concerned should be given a reasonable opportunity to show cause why the deduction should not be made.
26. Appropriate measures should be taken to limit deductions from wages in respect of tools, materials or equipment supplied by the employer to cases in which such deductions:
(a) are a recognised custom of the trade or occupation concerned; or
(b) are provided for by collective agreement or arbitration award; or
(c) are otherwise authorised by a procedure recognised by national laws or regulations.

IV. Equal Remuneration

(1) Each Member should, by means appropriate to the methods in operation for determining rates of remuneration, promote and, in so far as is consistent with such methods, ensure the application to all workers of the principle of equal remuneration for men and women workers for work of equal value.
(2) This principle may be applied by means of:
(a) national laws or regulations;
(b) legally established or recognised machinery for wage determination;
(c) collective agreements between employers and workers; or
(d) a combination of these various means.

V. Hours of Work and Overtime

28. The provisions of this Part apply to workers employed on a time basis.
29. The hours of work of any person employed on a plantation covered by Paragraph 1 above should not exceed eight in the day and 48 in the week, with the exceptions hereinafter provided for:
(a) the provisions of this Part do not apply to persons holding positions of supervision or management;
(b) where by law, custom, or agreement between employers' and workers' organisations, or where no such organisations exist, between employers' and workers' representatives, the hours of work on one or more days of the week are less than eight, the limit of eight hours may be exceeded on the remaining days of the week by the sanction of the competent public authority, or by agreement between such organisations or representatives: Provided, however, that in no case under the provisions of this Paragraph should the daily limit of eight hours be exceeded by more than one hour;
(c) where persons are employed in shifts it should be permissible to employ persons in excess of eight hours in any one day and 48 hours in any one week, if the average number of hours over a period of three weeks or less does not exceed eight per day and 48 per week.
30. The limit of hours of work prescribed in Paragraph 29 may be exceeded in case of accident, actual or threatened, or in case of urgent work to be done to machinery or plant, or in case of force majeure , but only so far as may be necessary to avoid serious interference with the ordinary working of the undertaking. That limit may also be exceeded in order to prevent the loss of perishable goods or materials subject to rapid deterioration.
31. The limit of hours of work prescribed in Paragraph 29 may also be exceeded in those processes which are required by reason of the nature of the process to be carried on continuously by a succession of shifts, subject to the condition that the working hours should not exceed 56 in the week on the average. Such regulation of the hours of work should in no case affect any rest days which may be secured by the national law to the workers in such processes in compensation for the weekly rest day.
(1) Regulations made by public authority should determine for plantations:
(a) the permanent exceptions that may be allowed in preparatory or complementary work which must necessarily be carried on outside the limits laid down for the general working of a plantation, or for seasonal or certain other classes of work which is essentially intermittent;
(b) the temporary exceptions that may be allowed to deal with exceptional cases of pressure of work.
(2) These regulations should be made only after consultation with the organisations of employers and workers concerned, if any such organisations exist. These regulations should fix the maximum of additional hours in each instance.
33. The rate of pay for any hours in excess of the hours of work provided for in Paragraph 29 worked in conformity with Paragraphs 30, 31 and 32 should not be less than one and one-quarter times the regular rate.

VI. Welfare Facilities

34. Having regard to the variety of welfare facilities and of national practices in making provision for them, the facilities specified in this Part of this Recommendation may be provided by means of public or voluntary action:
(a) through laws and regulations, or
(b) in any other manner approved by the competent authority after consultation with employers' and workers' organisations, or
(c) by virtue of collective agreement or as otherwise agreed upon by the employers and workers concerned.
35. In localities where there are insufficient facilities for purchasing appropriate food, beverages and meals, measures should be taken to provide workers with such facilities.
36. The workers should in no case be compelled, except as required by national laws and regulations for reasons of health, to use any of the feeding facilities provided.
(1) Appropriate measures should be taken to encourage the provision of recreation facilities for the workers in or near the undertaking in which they are employed, where suitable facilities organised by special bodies or by community action are not already available and where there is a real need for such facilities as indicated by the representatives of the workers concerned.
(2) Such measures, where appropriate, should be taken by bodies established by national laws or regulations if these have a responsibility in this field, or by voluntary action of the employers or workers concerned after consultation with each other. These measures should preferably be taken in such a way as to stimulate and support action by the public authorities so that the community is able to meet the demand for recreation facilities.
38. Whatever may be the methods adopted for providing recreation facilities, the workers should in no case be under any obligation to participate in the utilisation of any of the facilities provided.
39. The competent authorities of each country should arrange for the consultation of workers' and employers' organisations concerning both the methods of administration and the supervision of the welfare facilities set up by virtue of national laws or regulations.
40. In the economically underdeveloped countries, in the absence of other legal obligations concerning welfare facilities, such facilities may be financed through welfare funds maintained by contributions fixed by the competent authorities and administered by committees with equal representation of employers and workers.
(1) Where meals and other food supplies are made available to the workers directly by the employer, their prices should be reasonable and they should be provided without profit to the employer; any possible financial surplus resulting from the sale should be paid into a fund or special account and used, according to circumstances, either to offset losses or to improve the facilities made available to the workers.
(2) Where meals and other food supplies are made available to the workers by a caterer or contractor, their prices should be reasonable and they should be provided without profit to the employer.
(3) Where the facilities in question are provided by virtue of collective agreements or by special agreements within undertakings, the fund provided for in subparagraph (1) should be administered either by a joint body or by the workers.
(1) In no case should a worker be required to contribute towards the cost of welfare facilities that he does not wish to use personally.
(2) In cases where workers have to pay for welfare facilities payment by instalment or delay in payment should not be permitted.
43. Where a substantial proportion of the workers experience special difficulties in travelling to and from work owing to the inadequacy of public transport services or unsuitability of transport timetables, the undertakings in which they are employed should endeavour to secure from the organisations providing public transport in the locality concerned the necessary adjustments or improvements in their services.
44. Where adequate and practicable transport facilities for the workers are necessary and cannot be provided in any other way, the undertakings in which they are employed should themselves provide the transport.

VII. Prevention of Accidents

45. Members should take appropriate measures for the prevention of accidents and occupational diseases.

VIII. Workmen's Compensation

46. In case of incapacity compensation should be paid as from the day of the accident, whether it be payable by the employer, the accident insurance institution or the sickness insurance institution concerned.
47. In cases where the injury results in incapacity of such a nature that the injured workman must have the constant help of another person, additional compensation should be provided.
48. Injured workmen should be entitled to medical aid and to such surgical and pharmaceutical aid as is recognised to be necessary in consequence of accidents. The cost of such aid should be defrayed either by the employer, by accident insurance institutions, or by sickness or invalidity insurance institutions.
(1) Injured workmen should be entitled to the supply and normal renewal, by the employer or insurer, of such artificial limbs and surgical appliances as are recognised to be necessary: Provided that national laws or regulations may allow in exceptional circumstances the supply and renewal of such artificial limbs and appliances to be replaced by the award to the injured workman of a sum representing the probable cost of the supply and renewal of such appliances, this sum to be decided at the time when the amount of compensation is settled or revised.
(2) National laws or regulations should provide for such supervisory measures as are necessary, either to prevent abuses in connection with the renewal of appliances, or to ensure that the additional compensation is utilised for this purpose.

IX. Workmen's Compensation for Occupational Diseases

50. Each Member should provide that compensation shall be payable to workmen incapacitated by occupational diseases, or in the case of death from such diseases, to their dependants, in accordance with the general principles of the national legislation relating to compensation for industrial accidents.
51. The rates of such compensation should not be less than those prescribed by the national legislation for injury resulting from industrial accidents. Subject to this provision, each Member, in determining in its national laws or regulations the conditions under which compensation for the said diseases should be payable, and in applying to the said diseases its legislation in regard to compensation for industrial accidents, may make such modifications and adaptations as it thinks expedient.
52. Each Member should consider as occupational diseases those diseases and poisonings set forth in a Schedule to be established by the Member in consultation with the most representative organisations of employers and workers.

X. Social Security

53. Each Member should extend its laws and regulations establishing systems of insurance or other appropriate systems providing security in case of sickness, maternity, invalidity, old age and similar social risks to plantation workers on conditions equivalent to those prevailing in the case of workers in industrial and commercial occupations.

XI. Labour Inspection

54. Inspectors provided with credentials should be empowered by law:
(a) to visit and inspect, at any hour of the day or night, places where they may have reasonable cause to believe that persons under the protection of the law are employed, and to enter by day any place which they may have reasonable cause to believe to be an establishment, or part thereof, subject to their supervision: Provided that, before leaving, inspectors should, if possible, notify the employer or some representative of the employer of their visit;
(b) to question, without witnesses, the staff belonging to the establishment, and, for the purpose of carrying out their duties, to apply for information to any other persons whose evidence they may consider necessary, and to require to be shown any registers or documents which the laws regulating conditions of work require to be kept.

Fonte: ILO