Only 6% of domestic workers enjoy full social protection –ILO – The Sun Nigeria

by Bimbola Oyesola

The The International Labor Organization (ILO) has stated that only 6% of domestic workers worldwide have access to comprehensive social protection.

According to a new report from the global body, this leaves more than 94% of them without access to the full range of protections, covering medical care, illness, unemployment, old age, accidents at work, family. , maternity, disability and survivors’ benefits.

The report, “Making the Right to Social Security a Reality for Domestic Workers: A Global Review of Policy Trends, Statistics and Outreach Strategies”, showed that around half of all domestic workers have no no coverage, the other half being legally covered by at least one benefit.

The report notes that the extension of effective coverage is significantly lower than that of legal coverage, adding that only one in five domestic workers are actually covered in practice as the vast majority are informally employed.

The ILO has estimated that despite their vital contribution to society, supporting households in their most personal needs and care, most of the world’s 75.6 million domestic workers face multiple barriers. to benefit from legal coverage and effective access to social security.

The report said: “They are often excluded from national social security legislation. Given that 76.2% of domestic workers (57.7 million people) are women, these gaps in social protection make women particularly vulnerable.

“Although few domestic workers enjoy full social protection, they are more likely to be entitled to old-age, disability and survivors’ benefits and medical care, and, to a lesser extent, maternity benefits and sickness benefits. Most of them do not have access to benefits from social insurance schemes related to unemployment or accidents at work.

The report also highlighted major differences between regions. In Europe and Central Asia, 57.3 per cent of domestic workers are legally covered for all benefits. Just over 10% have such a right in the Americas; almost none are fully covered in the Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, and African regions that include countries where significant numbers of domestic workers are employed.

The report says the COVID-19 pandemic has made the gaps in social protection coverage that domestic workers suffer “glaring”.

“They have been among the hardest hit during the pandemic, with many losing their jobs and livelihoods. Many of those who kept their jobs were often exposed to the disease without sufficient protective equipment. However, domestic workers could rarely rely on adequate health protection, sickness or unemployment benefits, further exposing their vulnerabilities,” the report said.

He further explained that the challenges related to the social protection coverage of domestic workers are real but not insurmountable.

It indicates a number of international labor standards which provide solutions. These include the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189) and Recommendation, 2011 (No. 201), as well as the Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202) and Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102).

The report did, however, provide recommendations on how to ensure that domestic workers benefit from comprehensive social protection, including:

“Ensure that domestic workers benefit from conditions at least as favorable as those existing for other workers, personalize and simplify administrative procedures to ensure that legal coverage translates into coverage in practice.

“Simplify and streamline registration and payment procedures and develop adequate financing mechanisms as well as design benefit systems adapted to the specificities of domestic work.”

It also aims to promote inspection services as well as complaint and appeal mechanisms to ensure compliance, raise awareness among domestic workers and their employers of their rights and obligations, and promote a participatory and integrated policy approach.

Joel C. Hicks