Among all categories of the informal sector, the protection of domestic workers forms one of the biggest challenges to labour laws. The inherent subjugation involved in the work, along with the atypical nature of the work of domestic workers, makes them more vulnerable than other workers in the economy. The difficulties are associated with the work being performed within the household, primarily for non-commercial purposes. The work space, being a private space, makes regulation and implementation difficult. The lack of effective regulation and the extremely informal nature of the service render domestic workers without any basic protection. In the event of any economic uncertainty, they are left at the mercy of their employers. It is, therefore, essential to develop a system of social security that can afford adequate protection to domestic workers, with minimal state involvement in the affairs of the family. This paper seeks to provide suggestions for such a scheme, which is suited to the peculiar characteristics of domestic workers in India. It recognises that scattered and isolated schemes are insufficient to afford adequate protection to workers. The social security model suggested is a decentralised model where social security is integrated with other important concerns such as minimum wages, skill development, and increasing awareness and bargaining power of domestic workers. These suggestions have been made after undertaking an analysis of existing legal provisions for domestic workers in India and the best practices from various jurisdictions that have seen relative success in providing social security to domestic workers.
Agrawal, Utkarsh and Agarwal, Shailja
"Social Security for Domestic Workers in India,"
Socio-Legal Review: Vol. 14:
1, Article 2.
Available at: https://repository.nls.ac.in/slr/vol14/iss1/2