Domestic workers across the country may soon have right to equal and minimum wages, social security cover, skill development programme and forming unions at par with other workers under the existing labour laws. The ministry has invited views of all stakeholders and general comments on the National Policy for Domestic Workers till November 16, 2017, as per an official circular by the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
The new draft policy however does not prescribe a minimum wage for a domestic worker, although the earlier draft a couple of years ago had proposed a minimum salary of Rs 9,000 per month for the skilled full-time domestic help along with a host of benefits including social security cover and mandatory leave.
According to the document, the policy intends to set up an institutional mechanism to social security cover, fair terms of employment, grievance redressal and dispute resolution. It provides for recognising domestic workers as a worker with the right to register themselves with state labour department or any other suitable mechanism.
It also aims to expand the scope of existing legislation, policies and schemes to grant domestic workers rights that are enshrined in laws for other category of workers including minimum wage, equal remuneration etc. The policy will also promote the rights for them to organise and form their own unions/associations and affiliate with other unions/associations.
The policy will also provide for model contract of employment with well defined period of work and rest. It also aims to regulate the recruitment and placement agencies by respective governments through formulation of a policy. It will also have a tripartite implementation committee at centre, state and district levels.
It will also clearly define various terms such as part time workers, full time workers, live in workers, employers and private placement agencies.