How should the level be set and adjusted for domestic workers

Chile: A gradual approach for domestic workers

In 1973 Chile implemented a national minimum wage system for private sector employees, which did not include domestic workers. In 1994 a specific minimum wage rate for domestic workers was added and was initially fixed at 75 per cent of the general rate. The system also included another rate for workers under 18 years old and over 65.

While young people represent a very small fraction of the economically active population (EAP), with most of them still in formal education, domestic workers represent 6 per cent to 7 per cent of the total EAP and are mostly women.

In 2008, the authorities decided that domestic workers should be entitled to the general rate, and implemented a strategy to eliminate the gap over three years. By 2011, after a progressive uprate in the specific minimum wage rate, domestic workers were also entitled to the general minimum wage.

Minimum wage policy has been very active, with sustained real improvements for 25 years. These increases and a high level of compliance managed to significantly improve the wage floor for private employees.