Govt launches domestic workers’ survey

By: |
November 23, 2021 3:15 AM

The result of the survey, likely to be released by September next year, will help the government chart evidence-based data-driven policies.

Domestic workersDomestic workers constitute a significant portion of total employment in the informal sector

The government on Monday launched a pan-India survey to identify, count and understand the socio-economic characteristics of the domestic workers rendering services in private households as maids, cooks, babysitters, care-takers, tutors and watchman, among others, and their employers.

The result of the survey, likely to be released by September next year, will help the government chart evidence-based data-driven policies. The survey, the first of its kind, will cover 1.5 lakh households across 742 districts in the country. It will be conducted by the Labour Bureau.

Any person engaged by a household shall be classified as a domestic worker if the frequency of visits by the worker to the household is at least four days during the last 30 days and the goods and/or services produced by the worker is consumed by the members of the household against payment either through cash or kind, instruction manual for the survey said.

The survey will estimate the number or proportion of domestic workers by major states and all-India, separately for rural and urban break-up to the extent feasible, and percentage distribution of these domestic workers, households that employ them and households of the live-out domestic workers by important socio-demographic key characteristics.

Flagging off the field work for the survey, labour minister Bhupender Yadav said, “this is for the first time in Independent India that such a nationwide survey is being conducted and this shows the commitment of government towards having an evidence-based, data-driven policy which will help in targeted and last mile delivery of services.”
The minister said rapid urbanisation due to expansion would lead to migration of workers and a rise in the number of domestic workers.

Domestic workers constitute a significant portion of total employment in the informal sector. However, there is a dearth of data on the magnitude and prevailing employment conditions of the domestic workers. The survey is intended at having time series data on domestic workers.

Labour secretary Sunil Barthwal said according to the latest data on the e-Shram portal, around 8.8% of the registered 8.56 crore informal sector workers fall in the category of domestic workers. India has around 38 crore workers in the informal sector.

At the current rate of registration in the e-shram portal, there would be 3-3.5 crore domestic workers in the country. Domestic workers are the third-largest category of workers after agriculture.

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