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Employers and Domestic workers

Domestic work is the only source of livelihood for millions of women in India who are extremely poor, illiterate and low-skilled. And because of their circumstances and the lack of protections under India’s labor laws, every domestic worker is vulnerable and dependent on their employer. As an employer you have the capacity to make domestic work a source of financial stability, empowerment and work with dignity for your domestic worker.

What scenario best represents your household and domestic worker’s situation?

Best Case Scenario

Good, Conscientious Employer that respects the needs and rights of his/her domestic worker.

  • Domestic worker is treated with dignity
  • Paid a good wage and not expected to work beyond 8 hours daily
  • Provided with a weekly time off and good living conditions and medical care
  • Provided with opportunities to develop skills, literacy and financial stability

Common yet Unacceptable Scenario

This is a situation that the vast majority of domestic workers are forced to live with when their vulnerability is exploited and their basic rights are disrespected by their employer.

  • Paid the lowest possible wage and treated without dignity
  • Required to work for 12-15 hours a day
  • No weekly time-off or annual paid leave provided
  • Basic needs are controlled – Food, Rest, Freedom to connect with family and peers is prohibited, medical needs and personal development is ignored.

Worst Case Scenario

This would be the extreme case of employers who choose to ignore the ban on child labor and hire children under the age of 14 as domestic workers. Typically child workers are employed because they cost less and are easier to manipulate and control. The worst case scenario also includes employers who view domestic workers as their property and inflict emotional, physical and often sexual abuse on them without understanding the traumatic consequences that the individual will suffer for years to come.