New Privileges Of Domestic Laborers In Spain

This week has been historic for domestic workers, who with the ratification of Convention 189 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) by the Congress of Deputies will enjoy new labor rights in the near future that will put them on a par with other workers in general.

This ILO Convention 189 mainly affects women , who make up the vast majority of what is, in practice, a highly feminized sector (95.5% of the 378,000 workers in the Special System of Domestic Employees are women, according to with Security data at the end of April ).

There is also a marked nature of this work in terms of nationality: more than 164,000 workers of the total (43.3%) are of foreign nationality, according to Social Security affiliation statistics .

All these people will see their labor conditions and rights improve, albeit with a delay. Spain has taken 11 years to ratify a convention that was signed by the ILO at its congress on June 1, 2011 (and which can be consulted in Spanish on the same ILO website ). The text deals with fundamental issues that must be reviewed and reflected in national regulations.

right to unemployment
Domestic workers must access unemployment benefits (and especially contributory unemployment benefits) under the same conditions as the rest. Until now, due to the non-existence of unemployment contributions, necessary to collect these benefits, female workers were left without economic protection at the time an employment relationship ended.

This is an aspect that was already disfigured months ago by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in a ruling that has spurred the ratification of Convention 189 after reproaching Spain for what in practice was discrimination based on sex.

written contracts
As stated in the Agreement, the working conditions must be indicated, if possible, in a written contract that must include the details of the employer, the place of work, the start date of the contract, the type of work to be carried out, the remuneration (its method of calculation and the frequency of payments), normal working hours, annual vacations and rest periods, provision of food and accommodation (if applicable), the possible trial period, repatriation conditions…

Equality in breaks, overtime, paid vacations…
Article 10 of Convention 189 establishes that equality with other workers must be ensured “in relation to normal working hours, compensation for overtime, daily and weekly rest periods (at least 24 hours in a row) and paid annual leave.

Guarantee the SMI
The Convention makes it clear that, if a minimum wage applies in the country in which they work, domestic workers must receive it as a minimum. In Spain, there have already been campaigns by the Labor Inspectorate to regularize the salary of these workers. Currently, the Minimum Interprofessional Salary is 1,000 euros per month or 7.82 euros gross per hour actually worked.

Monthly wages and in kind
Payment is guaranteed on a regular basis and at least once a month. Payment in kind of a “limited portion” of that salary is also permitted and guaranteed, provided that the worker agrees.

Quote by FOGASA
The Convention advocates that domestic workers have “conditions no less favorable than the conditions applicable to workers in general with respect to social security protection.” This connects with the current absence of contributions by the Salary Guarantee Fund (FOGASA), which protects workers in situations of non-payment. With the ratification of the Convention, domestic workers will be included within its protection.

anti-bullying protocols
Article 5 of the Convention also requires “measures to be taken to ensure that domestic workers enjoy effective protection against all forms of abuse, harassment and violence”.

When will ILO Convention 189 apply?
Once the Convention has been ratified, it is up to the Government to draw up the regulations that establish, black on white, the new conditions and rights of domestic workers. A task that, before that ratification, has already been done in recent weeks.

Yolanda Díaz, Minister of Labor, explained a few days ago that the development of this regulation will be even “more extensive” and that it will not take long to see the light. According to the second vice president, this could happen “in a few days . ” Among the measures that could accompany the previous ones, regulations for the dismissal of these workers, their inclusion in the Law for the Prevention of Occupational Risks or the granting of greater facilities to the Labor Inspectorate, according to El Salto .

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