Domestic Workers Demand Fixation Of Minimum Wage - Eastern Mirror
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Domestic workers demand fixation of minimum wage

By EMN Updated: Feb 20, 2024 9:42 pm

DIMAPUR — Nagaland chapter of National Domestic Workers’ Movement (NDWM) has urged the state government to legislate protective measures to ensure minimum wage and other social security benefits like pension for the domestic workers.

A press release issued by Sr. Pramila Lobo, coordinator of NDWM Nagaland chapter and director of Assisi Centre for Integrated Development (ACID), highlighted that the tasks of domestic workers range from cleaning, cooking, caring for children, looking after elderly family members and other essentials task for their employers. Despite their important role, she stated that domestic workers remained underpaid, exploited, invisible in the society and experienced deplorable conditions as workers.

She added that the domestic workers are categorised under informal and unskilled job without any constitutional guarantee for which they remained unorganised without proper acknowledgment or reward.

“There is no specific contract based work, working hours, wage leave facilities, medical benefits. All these benefits totally depend upon on the mercy of employers. They are denied of fair wage and minimum wage because in Nagaland domestic workers are not included in the schedule employment and minimum wage Act even today,” Lobo said.

She went on to state that the domestic workers have no legal protection or guaranteed benefits, which make them more likely to be exploited despite providing the much needed support to the other middle and upper class workers in the country thereby contributing to the GDP of the country.

“The informal sector which contributes to more than half of India’s GDP is ignored, discriminated and exploited,” she alleged.

To realise the objectives, she has sought a general legislation that would be applicable to all who are part of the informal sector.

According to her, such legislation must cover a comprehensive law for informal workers or those who work for wages in someone else’s home; freedom of association with compulsory recognition guaranteed to sit with the recognised trade union to sort out grievances, settle disputes and enter into collective bargaining settlements; guaranteed minimum wage calculated on the basis of the 15th Indian Labor Conference (ILC); appropriate social security measures including PF, ESI and pensions.

It also sought occupational health and safety standards for domestic workers and review periodically through technical committees with experts from the field; set working day to a maximum of 8 hours or 48 hours a week with double the rate of wages for overtime and one weekly off; provide social security for domestic workers through tripartite boards, sectoral levy or cess of 1% apart from 1% of GST and 3% of the annual central and state budgets on the basis of Lok Sabha Standing Committee in 2008.

It further demanded to constitute a tripartite board for regulation of employment, wages, working conditions including safety and occupational health and social security.

By EMN Updated: Feb 20, 2024 9:42:54 pm
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