Welcome to our comprehensive guide on ILO Convention 190 (ILO C190) and its profound impact on workplace safety in the UK. In this article, we will explore the convention’s key aspects, its implications for employers and employees, and the steps required to ensure compliance. Additionally, we will address some common questions related to ILO C190.

Understanding ILO C190:

ILO C190 introduces an essential framework for addressing workplace violence and harassment. It’s vital to grasp the significance of this international agreement, which extends far beyond traditional notions of workplace safety.

Key Aspects of ILO C190:

To truly comprehend the depth of this convention, we’ll delve into its key aspects, each designed to foster safer, more respectful workplaces:

Expansive Definitions: ILO C190 offers comprehensive definitions of violence and harassment, encompassing psychological abuse, threats, verbal harassment, and abuses of power. It particularly highlights the pervasive issue of gender-based violence.

Comprehensive Training: Employers are now obligated to provide regular and thorough training at all organisational levels. This training covers risk identification, prevention strategies, employee and employer rights and responsibilities, reporting mechanisms, and a heightened focus on gender-based violence.

Supporting Victims: The convention places a strong emphasis on supporting victims of workplace harassment and abuse. Employers must provide essential protection services, resources, and leave for affected employees. This includes access to medical and psychological assistance, as well as legal support. Confidential advice and guidance are also a must.

Safe Reporting Procedures: Establishing transparent and secure mechanisms for employees to report workplace violence or harassment is a crucial component of ILO C190. These mechanisms should protect employees from retaliation, ensuring impartial and fair investigations.

Continuous Risk Assessments: Employers now have a duty to continually identify and assess workplace risks. This involves a comprehensive analysis of workplace activities, interactions, locations, systems, and the overall environment. Engaging workers, unions, and health and safety committees in these assessments is key to comprehensive risk management.

Compliance Monitoring: To ensure the effectiveness of prevention measures, employers must set up systems for regular monitoring and evaluation. Constructive feedback from unions and workers should inform ongoing policy and process improvements. 

The UK’s Commitment to ILO C190:

The UK government ratified the convention in June 2022, signifying its intent to be legally bound by the treaty’s requirements. However, domestic steps for full incorporation into national law are not yet complete. The convention will only fully enter into legal force for the UK on 26th June 2024, allowing time for preparation and adjustments.

Conclusion and Next Steps:

As the UK progresses towards full implementation of ILO C190, it’s crucial to stay informed about developments. This period offers an opportunity for employers and employees alike to prepare for a safer and more respectful workplace culture. By aligning policies, fostering open communication, and embracing the changes, we can collectively create a safer and more inclusive future for UK workplaces.

Stay tuned for updates and feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. Together, we will navigate this journey towards a better workplace environment.


Q & A Section: Common Questions and Answers:

Q1: When does ILO C190 go into effect in the UK?

A1: ILO C190 is set to go into effect in the UK in June 2024.

Q2: Who is responsible for compliance with the treaty?

A2: Employers across all industries and sectors in the UK are responsible for compliance with ILO C190.

Q3: What are the key changes brought about by ILO C190?

A3: The treaty introduces broader definitions of violence and harassment, mandates comprehensive training, emphasises victim support, requires safe reporting procedures, enforces ongoing risk assessments, and promotes compliance monitoring. 


Please note that the information provided in this Q&A is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Employers are encouraged to consult with legal professionals and relevant authorities to ensure full compliance with ILO C190 and other applicable laws and regulations.


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If you found this information valuable and are interested in improving your team’s safety practices or looking for bespoke training solutions, contact us today. Our expert team is ready to assist you. Explore our range of training services on our website, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or specific needs. We look forward to helping you achieve a safer, more productive workplace.