Recommendations for Employers
- Not to terminate or suspend the employment of domestic workers (DWs) during the lockdown.
- Not to anticipate the annual leave of the DWs. Only DWs get to decide when to take their leave.
- To pay their full salaries.
- Not to pressure the DWs into quarantining in the employers’ houses.
- Pay the contributions towards social security funds, if applicable.
- Continue paying the health insurance of the DWs, if applicable.
- In case the DW contracts the virus, ensure their paid sick leave.
- Share information about COVID-19 with DWs in all transparency.
- Respect the right of DWs to a safe and hazard-free workplace: provide them with preventive and protective gear, respect the quarantine measures, and protect them by limiting your own contact with people.
- Allow working hours flexibility to DWs, and provide them with free means of transportation so they can access and leave your house, as public transportation might not be available and put both parties at risk.
Recommendations for Governments
- Provide transparent information about the facts and the statistics around COVID-19 in the country. Respect freedom of speech, as open and accessible information is necessary to overcome the public health crisis.
- Include formal and informal domestic workers (DWs) in Social Security plans and benefits; suspend the existing requirements during the COVID-19 crisis, if necessary.
- Include formal and informal DWs in the Unemployment Insurance, universal income or ‘immediate relief bonus’ planned for humanitarian assistance to other sectors. Treat DW as work, by making eligibility requirements flexible during the emergency.
- Monitor employers, by reinforcing direct inspections and consequences for those who do not respect DWs labor rights.
- Provide effective means and procedures for DWs to report labor abuses, unfair dismissals, and violations of their rights, through the ministry of labor and in collaboration with DWs unions and civil society organizations.
- Create an emergency fund for formal and informal DWs who have been fired/suspended or have lost their income during the crisis.
- Include DWs and migrant domestic workers (MDWs) in the national relief plans to ensure their receipt of food, medicine, cleaning supplies and sanitary gear packages.
- Provide extra compensation to DWs who continue working during the lockdown.
- Exempt, waive, or reduce the fees of essential services such as water and electricity, for unemployed DWs during the crisis period, for at least 3 months.
- Lead awareness raising campaigns aimed at employers, DWs and the society at large about the situation of DWs and their rights in times of COVID-19.
- Provide COVID-19 free testing for DWs, in a discrimination, xenophobia, and racism free environments.
- Provide alternative accommodation for MDWs under the “sleep-in” modality, in case they leave their employers’ households.
- Halting arrest and deportation measures.
- Use C189 as a framework of reference to guarantee equal labor rights for DWs.
- Use C190 as a framework of reference to protect DWs from violence and harassment.
- Support MDWs with the help of their embassies to return to their countries, if they wish to do so.
Recommendations for International Organizations
- Reach out to domestic workers (DWs) to get informed on their situations and contexts. No decisions shall be made for them without them.
- Include DWs in the formation and implementation processes of all responses to the crisis.
- Enforce the accountability of governments who have ratified international treaties and conventions such as C189 and C190 to monitor their responses to COVID-19 and call out cases of non-compliance.
- Make all policy proposals and bills inclusive of informal workers, including domestic workers.
- Mobilize your resources and share them with DW unions and groups.
- Contribute to the facilitation of access of DW unions and groups to international decision making spaces.
- Amplify the voice of DWs by producing advocacy material in different languages, regionally and globally.
- Delegate the leadership in the identification of informal DWs to workers’ organizations to facilitate aid distributions.
Beyond contagion or starvation: giving domestic workers a third option | ILO
IDWF Solidarity Fund to Fight COVID-19
The IDWF and its affiliates are doing all we can to stand with our members and all domestic workers.
We have created a USD 2 million Solidarity Fund to support our actions aiming to:
- Protect jobs by providing protective gear to domestic workers so that they can go to work
- Connect with our members online
- Keep our affiliates offices open to members who need shelters
- Give out food and small cash to the members in critical situation
Support our Solidarity Fund!
Keep us safe and together we will be strong and keep our communities COVID-19-Free.