From the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, one thing was evident; losses of jobs became increasingly alarming worldwide. One job that has suffered significantly was that of domestic work. The pandemic has exacerbated working conditions that were already very poor. Domestic workers became more vulnerable from the pandemic because of long-standing gaps in labour and social protection. This is particularly the case for the more than 60 million domestic workers in the informal economy.
At the height of the pandemic, job losses among domestic workers ranged from 5 to 20 per cent in most European countries, as well as in Canada and South Africa. In the Americas, the situation was worse, with losses amounting to 25 – 50 per cent. Over the same period, job losses among other employees were less than 15 per cent in most countries. In Europe, for those who remained in employment, domestic workers faced a significant impact on their working hours, ranging from a reduction of 78 per cent in Slovakia to about 47 per cent in Portugal and 21 per cent in Italy. Data showed that the 75.6 million domestic workers around the world have suffered significantly, which in turn has affected the households that rely on them to meet their daily, care needs.
Ten years after the adoption of a historic International Labour Organization Convention that confirmed their labour rights, domestic workers still fight to be recognized as workers and essential service providers. The crisis has highlighted the urgent need to formalize domestic work to ensure their access to decent work, starting with the extension and implementation of labour and social security laws to all domestic workers,” said ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder.