JHWU Manual for Household Workers and Employers in Jamaica


This Manual is intended to raise awareness among Household Workers, Employers, the Community, Law Enforcement agencies and Legislators on the rights and importance of this sector in Jamaica. With an estimated 58,000 to 100,000 Household Workers across Jamaica, the majority being women, it is important that these workers are also protected against exploitation, violence and harassment from their employers. 

Note to Household Workers

If you work in a private home at jobs like cleaning, cooking, laundry, caring for a child, or caring for someone who is sick or elderly.; or work outside the house, gardening or driving on a regular basis, you are a Household Worker. 

This handbook was written to help Household Workers like you know your rights. Almost all of the laws that protect workers in Jamaica apply to you, including worker’s rights protections and benefits.

A Note to Employers

If you have engaged the services of someone to come into your home and care for your children or other family members and/or clean your home or do other domestic services in exchange for pay—whether that person lives in your home or not—then you have entered into an employer-employee agreement. You are the employer. Many people mistakenly think of these relationships as familial and informal, but they are essentially a relationship between an employer and an employee and should be treated professionally and ethically as such. 

This Manual contains much useful information about the laws governing employer-employee relationships and about good employment practices. 

Let’s build and maintain productive working relationships in the home!


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We all have our role to play in creating a better world. The more awareness we can create about human rights defenders and their vital work, the more support and solidarity we can drive their way.