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Domestic work

Domestic work involves different tasks, such as cleaning and maintaining the house or parts of it, caring and assisting family members, and other domestic tasks.

People who do domestic work make up a large part of the active population, but unfortunately, they go unrecognised. In many cases, the work relationship is unclear and people with this type of job are not recognised as workers with contractual rights and responsibilities, and the tasks they carry out are not considered a job.

The regulations acknowledge that domestic work is a job sector that falls under the “special scheme” of Social Security’s “general scheme”.

Domestic work plays an important part in the nation’s economy as it frees up people’s time to do their own jobs. It thus contributes to economic development. Regulating this sector will have a huge economic impact, as well as assisting people to obtain residence and work permits.

On April 11, 2016, the Catalan Parliament approved Resolution 56/XI, which made the labour rights and conditions of domestic workers the same as those applying to the rest of the workforce. In this resolution, the parliament aligns itself with the International Labor Organization’s Convention 189 on domestic workers and calls for the Government of Catalonia to request that the Spanish Government comply with its international obligations as per the Convention ratified by 24 countries (including Switzerland, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Belgium and Finland).

The Parliament also requests the Government of Catalonia to launch an outreach campaign to put an end to discrimination against many people in this sector — with a high number of undocumented migrant women —, especially those who live and work in people’s homes without contracts, working hours, payslips, legal salaries or Social Security. It also requests that the necessary resources be set aside to ensure the labour rights and conditions of domestic workers.

In 2017, the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Families (within the framework of the Citizenship and Immigration Committee) created a work group to develop proposals for improving the situation of people doing domestic work.