EU Care Strategy overlooks the reality of Domestic Workers

Brussels, 8 September 2022: EFFAT appreciates the European Commission’s recognition that Domestic Workers, many of whom are women and often with a migrant background, are subject to the poorest working conditions in the long-term care workforce.

As defined by ILO C189, Domestic Workers are those workers who perform work in or for a private household or households. They provide all types of services in an intertwined manner, including long term care, childcare and household tasks, all of which equally contribute to the well-being and work-life balance of millions of people, playing a key role in the care economy.

Grace Papa, EFFAT’s Political Secretary for domestic workers, said: “In many Member States there is no legal framework that clearly separates indirect and direct care.  This means that a large proportion of domestic workers in Europe provide cleaning services in the morning, pick up children from school in the afternoon and may end their day caring for an older member of the same family. Overlooking this situation means ignoring the dire reality of million workers in Europe. More importantly, it means, once again, excluding domestic workers from the recognition and protection all care workers deserve”.

EFFAT regrets that the EU Care Strategy does not fully reflect and address the reality of domestic workers, who, in addition, are employed both formally and informally, lacking regulatory frameworks in most Member States.

Although we are appreciative of the Commission’s commitment to call on Member States to ratify and implement ILO Convention 189, we regret that no concrete measures to implement its principles are envisaged to push Member States to develop effective pathways for recognition and professionalisation.

 EFFAT welcomes the Commission commitment to reviewing EU standards governing working conditions.

In this context, we will continue our fight to ensure the revision of the Framework Directive on Health and Safety at Work to ensure that Domestic Workers are finally included in its scope.

EFFAT will closely follow the upcoming inter-institutional debate and will continue to push our demands to ensure that domestic workers are finally recognised and valued as what they are: providers of care and well-being for millions of families in Europe.




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