‘New minimum wage cap will lead to exploitation of domestic workers’

The Labour and Employment Department, through an order on August 17, has fixed the minimum wages for employment in domestic work.

Published: 19th September 2018 06:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th September 2018 06:24 AM   |  A+A-

money, 100 rupee note, india economy, indian economy, money, cash, currency

Image used for representational purpose only. (File photo | Reuters)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The minimum wages set for domestic workers by the State Labour department last month are much below market standards and may lead to exploitation of labourers in remote areas, opine labour activists.

A house maid who sweeps, washes clothes and vessels, mops, takes care of children in a remote area is eligible to demand only about `5,580, even if she works two hours in three houses. “Many women who do domestic work in rural areas are often single mothers, widowed or come from broken families. It becomes extremely hard for them to support a family under that budget for a whole month,” said R Geetha of the Federation of Unorganised Workers.

The Labour and Employment Department, through an order on August 17, has fixed the minimum wages for employment in domestic work. The rates range from `31 to `39 per hour, depending on the level of skill and the location of their work. For example, a house-hold domestic worker in a corporation area will get `37 an hour and the same worker will get `31 an hour in a remote area that doesn’t come under corporations or municipalities.

Most domestic workers in urban areas get paid reasonably well and the minimum wages may not really affect them. “However, bonded labourers and other vulnerable domestic workers in remote areas are often exploited and paid very poorly. The minimum rates of wage will affect them the most,” said KR Renuka, director of Centre for Women’s Development and Research.

A gardener, who toils eight hours a day in an area that doesn’t fall under a corporation or municipality, is eligible to demand only `6,650 a month, even if he or she is asked to perform one or more of other unskilled domestic works like cleaning.

New Delhi and Kerala have set their rates of minimum wages around `70 an hour, when Tamil Nadu offers only about half of that.TA Latha from the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) said that trade unions had recommended a minimum wage of around `50 an hour at least.

Revised wages

According to the August 17 order, the minimum wages for domestic workers range from `31 to `39 per hour, depending on their skill level and location of the work


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp