Effective Protection for Domestic Workers: A guide to designing labour laws

This guide is a practical tool for those involved in national legislative processes and in the design of labour laws, including government officials and representatives of workers’ and employers’ organizations.


This guide is a practical tool for those involved in national legislative processes and in the design of labour laws, including government officials and representatives of workers’ and employers’ organizations.

At the 100th International Labour Conference in June 2011, the ILO adopted Convention No. 189 and Recommendation No. 201 on decent work for domestic workers. Because domestic workers are often excluded from the protection of labour laws or are treated less favourably than other wage workers, implementing the basic principles embodied in Convention No. 189 calls for an assessment and strengthening of national labour laws. With the Convention No. 189 as its underlying framework, this volume provides specific guidelines and complements these with examples drawn from a wide range of existing national labour laws concerning domestic workers.

The guide’s first part discusses alternative approaches to regulating domestic work, the nature and characteristics of domestic work, the forms of employment relationships that may exist, and their implications for regulation. Subsequent chapters focus on substantive areas of regulation, namely formalizing the employment relationship, working time, remuneration, fundamental principles and rights at work, protection from abuse and harassment, and protection of migrant domestic workers and child domestic workers.