Solidarity with domestic work(ers) 

 

Are you looking forward to you holidays? Holidaypay? Domestic workers are too!

Domestic workers in the Netherlands are often underpaid, excluded from regular employment protection, and their labour rights are too often not respected by employers.

Domestic work deserves appreciation and respect.

 

Do you agree? 

Then we call on you (1) to sign this call to action and (2) contribute to the emergency fund for undocumented domestic workers here.

 

Are you paying someone to clean your house? Don’t forget to make agreements with your domestic worker about paid holidays and 8% holiday pay. This is a legal obligation, regardless of legal status and/or having signed a written contract.

What is the problem?

Domestic workers have little or no social security: no unemployment insurance, no disability insurance, no insurance for long-term illness, no supplementary pension. The consequences are dire, and even more so for the many undocumented domestic workers. Dutch regulations do not properly protect these workers and domestic workers pay the price.

 

And this while Dutch society relies on domestic workers for running their households. One million Dutch households outsource domestic work to domestic workers. Perhaps yours as well. Employers are obliged to pay four weeks' holiday per year and holiday allowance, regardless of their employees’ migration status. But many do not keep their legal obligations and pay below minimum wage.

 

 This has to change. 

Valuing domestic work is part of the fight for gender equality. More women performing paid work is seen as an essential part of women's emancipation in the Netherlands. As more women work outside the home, domestic work is often outsourced. Many households therefore depend on domestic workers to run their household smoothly. What is seen as 'women's work' is still undervalued: domestic workers, often women, work under difficult and precarious conditions. Women's emancipation must therefore also ensure good working conditions for domestic workers.

In addition, the current legislation leads to the underpayment and undervaluation of domestic work. It is currently regulated under the law "dienstverlening aan huis", whereby domestic workers do not enjoy the same social security as people working in other sectors. This legislation violates the international convention ILO 189, which sets an international standard for labour standards in domestic work.

As long as there is no proper safety net for this group, an emergency fund is necessary. The fund of the Stichting Noodhulp [Foundation for Emergency Aid] to Migrant Domestic Workers comes helps undocumented domestic workers in need, for example if they lose income due to employers taking long holidays and not continue to pay the domestic worker.

What can you do?

We all benefit from the work of domestic workers. A social safety net for this group is thus our common responsibility as a society!

So donate to the emergency fund, fulfil your legal obligations as an employer, and talk about it with your friends and acquaintances.

Sign this call to action and share our call on social media!

 

Domestic work is work. And it is time that Dutch society recognises that.

[1] All donations are made through Wonda to the Emergency Fund.

Join the following organizations in signing Wonda Collective's call to action

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Thank you for your solidarity