Who sould be getting minimum wages?

Brazil – Constitutional Amendment assuring rights for domestic workers

In Brazil, domestic work remains an important occupation for women and a key component of social organization of care work. In 2013, domestic work accounted for 6.7 per cent of occupations, amounting to a total of 6.4 million people, of which 92.6 per cent were women. It is an occupation dominated by adult (81.6 per cent aged 30 years or older) and black (64 per cent) women workers.

In recent years, within a context of international debate, legislative measures have been approved that aim to expand the rights of this historically fragile category of workers.

In 2013, 25 years after promulgation of the Constitution, a Constitutional Amendment (CA 72) was approved which finally placed domestic workers among the other categories of workers with social rights. Moreover, in 2014, Law 12.964, of 8th April, altered the former law on domestic workers of 1972, imposing fines for employers who fail to formalise the work contract.

With promulgation of CA 72, Brazilian domestic workers are now assured of a whole series of rights, including minimum wages, but also compensation in the event of dismissal without just cause; unemployment insurance; bonuses for night work (20%); wage protection (it being a crime to intentionally withhold wages); a work day of no more than eight hours and forty-four hours a week; overtime pay of no less than 50% higher than the normal hourly rate; the right to work in a place where standards of hygiene, health and safety are met; or insurance against work-related accidents.

Source: IPEA. 2016. Initial Effects of Constitutional Amendment 72 on domestic work in Brazil, ILO Working Paper, Geneva.