National Policy for Domestic Workers

The Union Ministry of Labour and Employment has notified the draft National Policy on Domestic Workers. The policy aims to provide social security benefits to an estimated 39 lakh people employed as domestic workers by private households, of which 26 lakhs are female domestic workers.

Features of the Policy

The important features of the policy are:

  • Facilitating the domestic workers to register as unorganised workers under the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008. This will help domestic workers to access and obtain social security benefits like life and disability cover, health and maternity benefits, as well as old age protection.
  • Providing domestic workers with the right to form their own associations and unions.
  • Right to minimum wages and access to social security.
  • Right to enhance their skills.
  • Protection of domestic workers from abuse and exploitation, giving them access to courts.
  • Tribunals for grievance redressal, the establishment of a mechanism for the regulation of private placement agencies.
  • Establishment of a grievance redressal system for domestic workers.

Under the Unorganised Workers Social Security Act, 2008, the Central Government is providing social security benefits relating to life and disability cover, health and maternity benefits, old age protection to the unorganised workers including domestic workers.

The Union Ministry of Labour and Employment is also in process of drafting a universal social security code that would cover even domestic workers, who are otherwise deprived of benefits such as medical insurance, pension, maternity and mandatory leave.

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