The Gender Responsive Labour inspection toolkit gives an overview of national labour laws and international labour standards which are key to achieving gender equality. It further provides practical checklists and tips to make labour inspection gender-responsive in accordance with the provisions in these laws that apply to both women and men in the world of work. The GRLI toolkit includes an expanded scope of inspection. Some of these areas are overlooked in the traditional labour inspection system such as maternity benefits, sexual harassment, and trainings for equal employment opportunity amongst others. The addition of these indicators will help labour inspectors recommend employers to introduce worker friendly practices at workplace that help in worker retention and increased productivity.
The following benefitted from the use of the toolkit:
Labour inspectors. Whatever area of inspection for which evidence is being gathered, labour inspectors ensured women are represented in the data collection process, ideally in proportion to the number of women in the establishment under inspection. Ensure any data that is collected, is sex disaggregated. Most simply, when recording the total number of employees, list women and men, at all levels, separately. If the number of complaints lodged is being recorded, try to register the number of complaints lodged by women and men separately. Such information is crucial in understanding the gendered dimensions of work and the labour force and can provide important evidence for policy and programme interventions.
In interviews, whether they are being conducted with workers, managers or trade unions include women and record their perspective. If records are being checked, be they wage slips, registration of accidents or complaints filed, ensure a sample of women's records are checked and note if there is any gender based discrepancy. For example, if there is a pattern of women being paid less than men for similar work, this should be recorded as a violation. If there is a pattern of workplace related accidents amongst women, especially if women and men are doing the same work, check that the safety equipment provided is correct for women – it has been found that protective masks for instance, are made to standard size specifications which are often based on men bone structures rather than women's – and suggest remedial action accordingly. If training and promotion records are being checked, and it appears that women are not getting the same opportunities as men, ask management and workers, women and men, why that might be so. There might be a perfectly straightforward explanation, for instance new machinery is only being operated at night during the men's shift and that is why men are offered training on its use, or there might be a gender bias at play – it might have been perceived that women would not be interested in training or that training was offered during after work hours, which made it difficult for them to attend, and that is something that the inspector can point out for record. If it is observed that women are not represented in trade unions or management, make note of it.
The toolkit has answered all questions of workers or their representatives may have related to working conditions, occupational safety and health, social security, and labour rights and obligations. It will also ensure that workers' rights as explained in the legislation are better understood accepted and, therefore, better applied. Most of all the GRLI toolkit has benefitted women in raising their concerns and the labour inspectorate in designing interventions to facilitate women by ensuring workplace environment and working conditions are at par with the international standards.
The gender responsive labour inspection tool has also helped employers to assess their level of compliance with national labour legislation and promote innovative legal and/or technical solutions.