The need to recognise domestic work as ‘real work’

Social protection and labour rights must be extended to domestic workers, one of the most vulnerable groups of workers, said the Committee on Social Affairs in adopting the report by Viorel Badea (Romania, EPP/CD) on 25 April. The parliamentarians highlighted the urgent need to recognise domestic work as ‘real work’ and called on member States to revise their legislation in order to guarantee normal hours of work, periods of daily and weekly rest and annual leave, a minimum wage, social security protection, occupational health and safety and decent working conditions.

The adopted text also calls for mechanisms to be set up to enforce the law, such as multilingual labour inspectorate teams, an easily accessible complaint mechanism, legal assistance for domestic workers and awareness-raising campaigns. With regard to the high representation of women in this sector, it is particularly essential to guarantee protection of female domestic workers against all forms of abuse, violence and harassment.

Lastly, the committee considers that member States should facilitate the integration of domestic workers by ensuring their access to vocational training programmes. In addition, trade unions should help them overcome social isolation.