Recognise domestic work as ‘real work’ say MEPs
2016-03-14 14:04:14 -
Human Rights

By Staff Reporter


EU recognition of domestic work as real work, as well as the introduction of common rules, should eliminate discrimination and tackle precarious and undeclared work, said MEPs in a non-legislative resolution voted on recently. 

The MEPs from the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee also called for the protection of migrant women, who represent the majority of domestic workers and carers.

The text, adopted by 16 votes to one with 14 abstentions, focuses on women as its figures show 83 per cent of the global domestic workforce in 2010 were women, with 2.2 million of them in the EU. 

There are also over 20 million European carers, two-thirds of whom are women.

“Today we achieved the first victory,” said rapporteur Kostadinka Kuneva. “Yet we have another battle to win which will take place in the European Parliament Plenary, where the report will be voted. 

“And there, it is our duty to ensure that we will not allow for the millions of domestic workers to remain invisible and unprotected.”

The text calls on the European Commission to draw up legislative and non-legislative documents on domestic workers and carers and to conduct a study on how Member States regularise domestic work.

The MEPs are calling for an EU framework to better protect the rights of domestic workers and carers, and urge member states to recognise the professionalisation of the sector.

They are also pushing to regularise the precarious situation within the framework of the European Platform against undeclared work.

Awareness campaigns, clear legislation for legal employment, and foreseeing incentives are among the measures suggested to regularise domestic workers and carers’ position.

Specific rules should also be taken to protect migrant women who represent the majority of domestic workers and carers, the MEPs argue – such as making available legal avenues to migrate to the EU.

According to the text, migrant women often work under irregular conditions and have difficulties in accessing legal support. 

Member states should also ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Member of their Families, the MEPs added.

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