Labor wants domestic workers to be able to collect unemployment benefits before the end of the year
The Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, with the domestic workers, on Thursday in Congress.
The Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, with the domestic workers, on Thursday in Congress.Fernando Sanchez (Europa Press)

Dozens of domestic workers celebrated this Thursday in Congress the ratification by Spain of Convention 189 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) that equates their labor rights with those of other groups of workers, among which the possibility stands out to contribute to the unemployment benefit, something they had not been able to do until now. Sources from the Ministry of Labor assure that their will now is that these workers can collect unemployment benefits before the end of the year.

“A time of full rights is inaugurated for thousands of women. Women who sustain, with their work at home and in care, the progress of this country. Thank you!” tweeted after the plenary vote the Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz. The validation of this new framework of labor rights received practically unanimous support, with 341 votes in favor, none against and only one abstention.

After the ratification of this agreement, domestic workers —according to data from the Active Population Survey, 84% of people employed in the domestic sphere are women— will be able to collect unemployment once their employment relationship ends, a right that the Law General of Social Security (LGSS) had been denying them. This is a historic victory for a group of 378,466 people, according to data on affiliation to the Special System for Domestic Employees, and that the unions raise by 200,000 more workers (who are not registered).

As determined in article 6 of ILO Convention 189, “the ratifying State must adopt measures to ensure that domestic workers, like other workers in general, enjoy equitable employment conditions and decent work conditions. , as well as, if they reside in the household for which they work, decent living conditions that respect their privacy”. At the same time, it also recognizes “the importance of the contribution of domestic work to the world economy, despite which it is undervalued and affects a particularly vulnerable group, especially women and girls and migrants.”

The acceptance of this new labor relations scheme also requires that workers be informed about the conditions of employment in an adequate, truthful and understandable manner, giving priority to the written contract and regulating equal treatment with the rest of the people. workers in terms of breaks and vacations.

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At the same time, it also regulates the repatriation conditions of migrant domestic workers —four out of ten are foreigners, of which seven out of ten countries come from countries that are not part of the European Union— at the end of their contract, and ensures the freedom of female workers to reach agreements with the employer regarding their residence in the workplace, rest periods and the preservation of their travel and identity documents. In addition, it stipulates the receipt of salary at least once a month and limits remuneration in kind (with services, goods or non-monetary benefits).

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Sources from the Ministry of Labor assure that, once the parliamentary procedure has been completed, the objective is “to go as quickly as possible” to try to adapt the Spanish labor regulatory system to the new disquisitions. Diaz herself has already advanced that legislation will be passed so that the equalization of rights occurs in a short space of time and these workers can collect unemployment benefits before the end of the year.

The ratification of this agreement has accelerated after the European courts qualified the Spanish system as contrary to community law. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) considered in a ruling published in February that the employment regime for domestic workers was discriminatory for not recognizing the right to unemployment for this group, which entailed indirect discrimination on the basis of sex. This pronouncement came after consultation with a court in Vigo, which, after receiving this response, recognized the right of a Galician worker to contribute for her work, and therefore, to receive an unemployment benefit.

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