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India: Demand to the Parliament to consider domestic workers in New Labour Codes discussion

by Fish Ip published Feb 08, 2021 01:08 PM
The National Platform of Domestic Workers presses the members of the Parliament in India to consider the importance to include the rights of domestic workers in the New Labour Codes.


National Platform for Domestic Workers

Phone : 09891264064, 09895077961, 09810810365
E-mail : [email protected]

Dr. Devaki Jain Dr. V. Mohini Giri 
Anita Juneja Nalini Nayak

13 Sep 2020

Honorable Member of Parliament 

We are writing to you from the National Platform of Domestic Workers - which has representation from 5 Central Trade Unions and a large number of smaller trade unions from all over the country.
As the Parliament session is scheduled to begin, and as we hear that the new Labour Codes will be presented in Parliament, we urge you to engage in this discussion and we bring to your notice some important points.

  1. 96% of the workers in this country fall into the informal sector and although these codes are supposed to be universal, they totally ignore the rights of the informal workers and just mention them in passing. This is totally unacceptable and unjust.

  2. These codes completely exclude the domestic workers from their purview. Considering that the Government of India (GOI )is signatory to the ILO Convention 189, it has to treat domestic workers like all other workers and not ignore them.

  3. The National Platform is demanding a Comprehensive Legislation for Domestic Workers
    This is the fastest growing sector of workers today in India, with 78% being women. While there are no official statistics on this sector, there are reports that say they number over 30 million today. Hence the need for more accurate data on this sector of workers. They are in many ways essential and indispensable especially when they provide care work to children, the sick and elderly and when they permit adults to leave the home to pursue other productive labour. This is a particularly vulnerable group of workers as they work in private homes and under individual employers. They should also get working conditions and social security rights like all other workers.

    There have been several private members Bills for Domestic Workers presented in Parliament which means that there is a demand from parliamentarians too for a separate legislation for domestic workers. If pressed strongly enough, this demand will have to be accepted.

    We attach separately our critique of the New Labour Codes. But our demand herewith is:

    Please leave all sectoral laws alone. Are we not already doing that in respect of Child Labour, Sex work, Bonded Labour, etc. then why pick the thirteen sectoral laws and seek to repeal them? It does not bear any rational relation to the objective sought to be achieved and is therefore discriminatory under Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

  4. Institute Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme.
    As thousands of workers have lost jobs in the cities, it is an urgent cry that employment guarantee scheme, like the MNREGA, is also started in the urban areas. A lot of city infrastructure maintenance work, EWS housing, servicing of the COVID infected persons etc. can be undertaken in the urban areas.

  5. As the Disaster Management Act is now in operation all over the country, it mandates that cash transfers are made to all vulnerable groups. These cash transfers should be done immediately, @ of Rs. 7000 a month.

The National Domestic Workers Platform is observing September 24th as A protest Day. Please do support this from Parliament.


Nalini Nayak                                                                                                                                                Subhash Bhatagar

Source: National Platform of Domestic Workers

Story Type: Update

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