Domestic helps set to get more rights

Domestic helps set to get more rights

Job conditions to be at par with organised sector workers

That is if the government means what it did at the recent International Labour Conference in Geneva — support the adoption of the Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers.

Former MP Thampan Thomas, who was a titular member representing the Asian region at the 17-day convention, told Deccan Herald the meet had set out global standards to ensure decent working conditions for domestic workers. It ensures conditions for working hours, social security protection, occupational health and safety, minimum wages and many other fundamental principles and rights in the work place, including freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.

“There are 19 articles concerning rights of labour all of which have become applicable to domestic helps also,’’ he said.

This means domestic helps will have most of the rights enjoyed by organised workers like 8-hour work, overtime allowance and weekly off. In the event of unjustified dismissal, the workers can also seek redressal in labour courts. Steps to legalise the convention in the country will be set off once the Union Cabinet takes a decision.

“What is more important is that the convention has addressed the critical issue of trafficking in women in the name of domestic help. Countries will now have to oversee and regulate the transport of women who seek work as domestic help,’’ Thomas said. This follows the largescale exploitation of women who go to other countries seeking work as domestic help but end up in prostitution. The meet was attended by 4,500 delegates from 183 countries including a 36-member Indian delegation led by Union Labour Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge.

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