Committee to help check domestic workers' abuse

Committee to help check domestic workers' abuse

The Delhi government has formed a committee to suggest measures for checking violence against domestic workers.

Apart from registration of all workers employed in homes, the government is also keen to study the views of the panel on giving them the right to a weekly day off, said an official.

The panel to be headed by Deputy Speaker Bandana Kumari, a legislator from Shalimar Bagh, would also chalk out a strategy for improving the lot of maids who are often exposed to sexual harassment by their employers, Labour Minister Gopal Rai said on Tuesday.

He said the committee will prepare a report on issues related to minimum wages, social security, health benefits and curb on exploitation by placement agencies.

Rai said maids and domestic helps are treated as part of the informal sector which is disorganised and does not get the due attention.

“These workers are considered unproductive but we know they play a crucial role in the economy,” he said.

“We are going to draft a new set of rules for regulating the domestic help sector so that they get minimum wages,” the minister said.

He said the social security network would be expanded for these workers of the informal sector.

A robust mechanism to prevent exploitation of domestic workers by placement agencies, which bring them from other states by making tall promises, is also being worked out, Rai said.

Domestic workers’ would also be given maternity leave and offered crèche facility for their children after the panel gives its report, said an official.

“The domestic helps are employed yet not recognised as workers and denied basic legal rights under the labour laws,” said Rai.

Some workers even take up hazardous tasks at workplace and the Delhi government is looking to make provisions to ensure treatment in case of sickness and other social security, he said.

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