Policy draft suggests full social security, Rs 9000 base wage for domestic helps

newsimageThe law will enable the central government to set benchmark minimum wages for different regions across the country. Domestic workers across the country could perhaps expect acche din in the near future as the labour ministry is pushing for a national policy for setting fair employment terms, minimum wages, protection and social security for them. According to the draft, a Central board would be set up where domestic helps can get themselves enrolled and get paid depending on the job they do.The policy, if implemented, would benefit a total of five million workers across the country, of which three million are women. According to ministry officials, the policy’s USP would be ensuring domestic workers get all social security benefits. “To do so, domestic workers would be designated as workers, which would help them register under the state labour department,” the official added. The ministry also plans to clearly differentiate and define part-time, full time and live-in workers. The benefits that the workers would be entitled to, include maternity leave, pensions, health insurance, etc. “Also, we are planning to fix the minimum wage at `9,000 per month and also clearly define periods of work and rest. In simple terms, domestic help will also have a normal working week like most other employees across the country,” the official said. Fair terms on minimum wages ■ Draft suggests clear definition of part-time, full-time and live-in workers ■ Setting up institutions like a Central board to ensure social security and payment of wages to registered workers ■ Recognising them as regular workers to enable registeration under state labour departments ■ Allowing them to form formal unions or associations ■ Skill development programmes for registered workers ■ Fair terms with regard to minimum wages (`9,000 per month), protection from abuse, access to maternity benefits, pension, health insurance, etc ■ Model contract defining periods of work and rest ■ Recruitment and placement through governments via agencies ■ Implementation committees at Central, state and district levels