Legislative Landmarks

Legislative Landmarks

Through its extensive work with domestic workers and other stakeholders, NDWM has managed to bring about some impact in the justice and legislative system for the Domestic workers in the country.

The achievements in the field of Domestic Workers are as follows:

  • The Domestic Workers (Conditions and Services) Bill 1996, introduced in Parliament in 1998
  • Advocates Mr. Colin Gonsalves, Ms. AparnaBhat, Mr. P. Ramesh Kumar, and Mr. Vipin M. Benjamin filed the Public Interest Litigation (PIL): National Domestic Workers’ Welfare Trust and Others (Petitioners) versus Union of India (Respondent). This lawsuit seeks to compel the respondent to enact comprehensive litigation protecting the rights of domestic workers throughout India. On April 10, 2003, the Honorable Justices Mrs. Ruma Pal and Mr. B.N. Srikrishna of the Supreme Court of India agreed to hear the PIL. This was an important breakthrough for NDWM after ten years advocacy on behalf of the implementation of legislation protecting domestic workers.
  • Tamil Nadu Domestic Workers Welfare Board (constituted 22 January 2007) under section 6 of the Tamil Nadu Manual Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Work) Act 1982 – Nomination of Chairman and Members-Orders-Issued;
  • The Central government amended the Central Civil Service Conduct Rules to prohibit any government official/civil servants from employing children below the age of 14 years as domestic workers.
  • Indian law prohibits the employment of children below 14 years age, in certain occupations in accordance to the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act 1986. By 10 October 2006, the ban on child labour included employment of children in domestic work.

Minimum Wages

  • Notification for Minimum Wage Act for Domestic Workers passed in the following State governments: Kerala (23 May 2005), Andhra Pradesh (24 April 2007) and Rajasthan (4 July 2007).
  • Minimum Wage Act for Domestic Workers in Karnataka; the Act, passed on 01 April 2004, includes fixing minimum rates of wages for Domestic Workers
  • The Labour, Employment, Training & Factories department has fixed the minimum rates of wages in employment for Domestic Workers in Part-I of the Schedule of the Minimum Wages Act 1948. The Final Notification is of G.O. Ms. No. 119, Labour, Employment, Training & Factories (Lab II), 10 December 2007.
  • Tamil Nadu Government included the domestic workers under Minimum wage Act (August 2007); it is on the process of fixing minimum wages for domestic work.
  • Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu have brought domestic workers under the schedule of Minimum Wages Act (1948). Efforts are on in other states as well.

Social Security

  • The Unorganized Sector Workers’ Social Security Bill, 2007 passed on 8 January 2008 includes domestic workers in the unorganized sector of workers.
  • The H’ble Supreme Court directed the Government to include the domestic workers in the proposed Unorganized Workers’ Social Security Act. Accordingly, The Unorganized Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008, enacted by the Parliament in December 2008, included the domestic workers in no. 2 (n) of the Act.
  • The Tamil Nadu Government has included Domestic Work under unorganized worker’s bill; it is also making efforts to fix minimum wage for domestic workers. (This was in response to the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the Supreme Court of India by the National Domestic Workers Welfare Trust – the legal entity of NDWM, and others seeking a writ of mandamus, directing the State to enact a comprehensive legislation for at least a minimum level of protection to domestic workers as guaranteed under Articles 15 (3), 21, 23, 38, 42, 43 and 51 of the Constitution.).
  • The Maharashtra Government passed the Domestic Workers Welfare Act in 2008.
  • The state government of Meghalaya approved AAY/BPL cards to 750 domestic workers, registered with the Meghalaya unit of the North East Domestic Workers’ Movement. These cards will allow domestic workers to buy essential commodities at a much cheaper rate from the government approved fair price shops. The growing recognition of Domestic Workers’ Rights in State Governments as well as in Central Government spurs to continue our efforts.