The legal regulation of women in the workforce in international law is mainly related to their family responsibilities [1].  The main international acts in this area are ILO Convention No. 156 ‘On Equal Treatment and Equal Opportunities for Workers Men and Women: Workers with Family Responsibilities’ 1981 and Convention No. 103 ‘Maternity Protection’, 1952. Based on the ILO Convention No. 156, workers with family responsibilities are male and female workers with family responsibilities in relation to their dependent children, as well as for other immediate family members who are in need of care.

What are the features of labor regulation of women and workers with family responsibilities? First of all, they appear to restrict the employment of women in heavy work or work in harmful and /or dangerous working conditions, underground work, in addition to non-physical work or work on sanitary and domestic services. It is forbidden to use the labor of women in work related to lifting and moving weights manually, exceeding the maximum permissible norms for women .The lists of such works are approved by the Government of the Russian Federation.

It should be emphasized that the prohibition of the use of women’s labor in heavy work and work with harmful working conditions is established by the national legislation of approximately 50 countries. For example, in 90 countries women are prohibited from working underground.

In accordance with ILO Convention No. 156, each Member shall make it an aim of national policy to enable persons with family responsibilities who are engaged or wish to engage in employment to exercise their right to do so without being subject to discrimination and, to the extent possible, without conflict between their employment and family responsibilities (part 1, 2 of article 1, part 1 of article 3) [2, p.20]   .

For example, in the UK it is believed that people raising children or caring for the sick and disabled should be valued by society, and they should be able to work.  In The Labor Rights Act 1996 introduced a prohibition of discrimination based on age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, and gender, race, and disability.  The employee has the right to appeal the unfair dismissal. In the UK judicial practice, among the grounds for dismissal entailing the unconditional recognition of an employee as unfairly dismissed are the pregnancy of a woman, the birth of a child, and the performance of family duties (Section 99 of the Act) [3]   .

In Russia according to the requirements of Art.261 of the Labour Code of the Russian Federation, which prohibits the termination of the labor contract at the initiative of the employer with a pregnant woman, the woman is subject to reinstatement in her previous position from the moment of dismissal, and the average wage for the entire period of her forced absence is charged from the employer [4, p.22]   .

In Sweden, all types of discrimination are prohibited under the Anti-Discrimination Act. It should be noted that the highest level of female employment is in Sweden and stands at 79%. Progressive social insurance system, enabled women to combine work with family responsibilities.

In Denmark, with high fertility rates, women’s employment rates are also high. Currently, state policy is aimed at helping not only mothers, but also fathers, so that they take on most of the responsibilities of housekeeping and raising children, thereby opening up access for women to the labor market, that is, state policy focuses on increasing the level of participation of women in paid work, recognition of their equal partners in the labor market. The same applies to workers whose dependents are elderly relatives, elderly workers, etc.   [5, p.14].

So, as we see, the main goals of social policy in the field of labor relations in Denmark are the mixing of “male” and “female” spheres of professional activity, the introduction of standards of gender equality in staff selection and professional training, the introduction of certain requirements for the work schedule of specialists who have family.

In France, labor relations are regulated in the Labor Code. To combat unemployment, emphasis is placed on a democratic market, which implies the creation of part-time jobs, fixed-term employment on a contract basis, etc. Part-time employment means a reduction in working time by 25% [6, p.14].  The Labor Code prohibits the dismissal of an employee on discriminatory grounds, the dismissal of pregnant women, women who are on vacation in connection with the birth of a child, and some other categories of workers. Such dismissals are considered invalid.

As you can see, in foreign countries, it is the state’s task to provide additional guarantees of employment to persons experiencing difficulties in finding a job.

Currently in Russia, the issue related to employment of women and persons with family responsibilities is under of state’s special consideration. However, there are still a number of problems that we would like to highlight.  One of the problems is that the current Russian employment legislation does not cover all categories of working women with family responsibilities, but only single parent and parents with multiple children, or parents rising child with disabilities. Moreover, it must be emphasized that the concept of a single mother is not fully defined in practice. Another problem is that in Russian legislation there is no clear definition of workers with family responsibilities, therefore, in practice, it is really difficult to specify precisely who falls under of given category.

Analysis of the legislation of developed countries demonstrates that it is directed towards more active participation of women in the work force without prejudice to family responsibilities, also at providing men with the right for part-time work so that they can work and bear equal responsibility in fulfilling family responsibilities.

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