Govt plans policy for domestic helps

By: | Published: August 7, 2015 12:05 AM

The policy will seek to formalise employment relationships under written agreements between employers and employees

The Narendra Modi-led government is planning to come out with a national policy for an estimated 3 crore domestic workers to ensure that they get the minimum wage prescribed (Rs 160 a day), and are covered by social security schemes including provident fund.

The proposed move, which stemmed from the belief that domestic workers are entitled to the same rights and recognition as workers in other settings, would make their registration with placement agencies mandatory under the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008. It would also seek to formalise employment relationships by written agreement between employer and worker, and placement agency and worker.

Domestic workers, who constitute the largest female occupation in urban India, often work with little freedom. There are also incidences — reported and unreported — of them suffering from  violence, victimisation, sexual exploitation and harassment. They could also lack decent working conditions.

“The policy aims to create a national platform for delineation of rights and duties of domestic workers including migrant workers and employers by bringing them into the ambit of labour laws and regulations,” a labour ministry official said.

“We also plan to set up an institutional mechanism which can provide training and skills, fair terms for employment, social security cover, freedom of association or collective bargaining, grievance redressal and dispute resolutions.”

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