Working conditions of domestic workers

Around the world, domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to human rights abuses with respect to their working conditions. They often work for excessively long hours, with little to no pay, and with almost no access to social protections. Globally, on average, 30% are excluded from labour legislation, but a much greater number do not enjoy de facto minimum protection at work.

To promote improved and equal working conditions for domestic workers, the ILO carries out policy advisory services for national constituents, technical assistance projects at country-level, research and knowledge development, and policy advocacy campaigns. Critical areas addressed include policies and programs regarding working time of domestic workers that safeguards their health and safety, work-family balance and adequate rest; wage protection including minimum wage, and employment practices that shape terms and conditions of employment of domestic workers.

What's new

  1. Researching domestic work - ILO Survey on domestic workers: preliminary guidelines

    The purpose of the present report is to draw from the experience gained from two surveys conducted in Tanzania and Zambia to provide preliminary guidelines on the design and implementation of surveys of domestic workers in countries of interest.

  2. Working conditions: time for EU Member States to implement the ILO domestic workers convention.

    28 Jan. 2014

    The European Commission welcomes the adoption by the EU's Council of Ministers of a Decision authorising Member States to ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention concerning fair and decent work for domestic workers.

  3. Ecuador ratifies Convention 189

    18 Dec. 2013

    Ecuador is the eleventh ILO member State and the fifth Latin American member State to ratify this instrument that seeks to improve the working and living conditions of tens of millions of domestic workers worldwide.

  4. Working time of live-in domestic workers

    28 Nov. 2013

    By virtue of living in the household, live-in domestic workers and their employers are likely to build close ties, working and living together for many years. However, living in the homes of their employers has also meant that live-in domestic workers on average work far more hours per day and per week than almost any other category of workers. In some cases, the isolation of domestic workers in the household has meant that they are expected to be available to work around the clock, with very little rest.