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Justice Innovation Labs for sustainable solutions Employment Justice Platform in Tunisia

Employment Justice Platform in Tunisia

Innovation lab journey

HiiL held the justice innovation lab in Tunis, to develop a solution to employment justice problems of people. The lab convened a group of 25 stakeholders, from April to December 2023. Stakeholders who participated in the lab include the Presidency of the government, the labour inspection, the ministry of employment, startups, innovators, human resources specialists, union members, sociologists and representatives of the private sector.  

The designed solution empowers the government to bring about merit-based employment opportunities for people, decent working conditions and fair wages for all. It has been endorsed by the Labor Inspection through a Memorandum of Understanding. It has additionally been endorsed by the Presidency of the Government. 

Overview of justice problems in the region

A nationwide survey conducted by HiiL in the country in 2023 reveals that one of the most common legal problems of people in Tunisia is related to employment, particularly affecting the youth and men. Approximately, one in twenty persons have an employment-related problem. While the problem is common, its resolution rate is low – with only 13% of the problems reaching a resolution. In addition, only 39% considered this resolution as fair. To sum up, 95% of problems do not reach a quick and fair resolution.

When trying to resolve the problem, the survey reveals that people either reach out directly to their employers or use their social networks (friends, family) as a source of information and advice. Therefore, solutions aiming to bridge the employment justice gap for Tunisians must focus on empowering employees and employers to prevent and resolve problems. At the moment, both employers and employees lack access to simple, credible, and actionable information that can be tailored to resolve the specific work-related problem they are experiencing.

Design of the solution

The Employment Justice Platform is an online dispute resolution system that allows employers and employees to collaboratively resolve disputes in a way that is cheaper, faster and to the satisfaction of both parties. It aims to empower people in Tunisia to prevent and resolve their work-related problems by providing access to high-quality and actionable information, advice and referrals.

Employees can through the platform to gain an understanding of the rights and entitlements that apply to their circumstances. Using the online interface, they can move through the interactive decision tree. Based on the decision tree, they receive legal advice and referrals tailored to their dispute. Employees can also access a comprehensive database of the most common work-related problems faced by Tunisians along with step-by-step, actionable and evidence-based information on how to find a solution. 

Employers and justice providers can also use the interactive decision tree, to obtain customised advice on how to prevent and address simple and complex employment-related problems. In case third-party expertise is required, the platform provides referrals to relevant legal service providers, mediators, and labour inspectors.

The platform makes available evidence-based guidelines focusing on delivering people outcomes that are beneficial to their well-being for the use of employers and justice providers.  The guidelines promote a standardised way of working to prevent and resolve a dispute. Furthermore, up-to-date laws and case-laws and regulatory procedures presented in a user-friendly manner can also be accessed through the database. 

The online platform supports procedures such as intake and needs assessment, planning actions to meet needs/goals, establishing timelines, monitoring case progress, and documenting information for each case session. Progress on the case is monitored through outcomes jointly selected by both parties, thereby ensuring a focus on the delivery of people-centric justice delivery.

The Labour Inspection oversees the strategic and day-to-day management of the platform. It can use the platform’s case management and record-keeping tools to manage its activities and to maintain oversight of the platform. The below infographic gives an overview of tools available for the use of entities who will use the platform. 

Reflections of participants