Bill to protect domestic workers’ rights coming soon

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Domestic workers will soon have fixed minimum wages and fixed working hours and safai karamcharis will be covered under social security schemes and have specified improved working conditions soon. Separate bills have been drafted in this regard and cabinet approval is expected in the current session.

“We are bringing in pre-legislation acts in the interests of domestic workers and safai karamcharis. We are pushing these acts in the cabinet. I expect to have cabinet approval for these acts during this session,” said Union Minister for Labour and Employment, Mallikarjuna Kharge.

The new act will lay standards and clear terms for employment of domestic workers. For the first time, government is going to set limits on working hours (expected to be a maximum of nine hours a day or forty eight hours a week), ensure one holiday per week and extra wages for overtime.

Domestic workers and safai karamcharis will also be covered under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana and other social security schemes. Registration of domestic workers will also be made mandatory.

“I had commissioned a task force to look into issues related to safai karamcharis. The task force has submitted a report and I am going to put the report in front of the cabinet,” Mr Kharge added.

“Apart from these two areas, we are also focussing on the abolition of child labour. Now under the Right to Education Act, free and compulsory education is the right of every child and every child below the age of 14 years has to be sent to school and cannot be put to work,” Mr Kharge said.

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