If instead of receiving at least 15 days of salary as a bonus at the end of the year, we received a change of clothes that the employer used for a while and no longer wants in his closet. If the payment for our work were a thank you and old toys for our daughters or sons who need food, we would probably understand the reality of more than 2 million domestic workers.
This week UN Mexico launched the #ESLOFUSTO campaign, to “make employers aware of the rights of domestic workers and position” the work they perform “as a decent job”. In this country, 10% of the women who participate in the labor market are dedicated to this activity in which the violation of their rights is constant.
As a strategy, said organization has released a video on its social networks in which three people who work in different offices and in a plant are called to a meeting with their bosses and their boss. There they are told that they will no longer have holidays, fixed schedule ni social Security. Of course their work is good and they appreciate them, as much as if they were family, they say.
In the end, they explain that this will not happen to them, but that it is happening to millions of Household employees in the country. Through this irony, UN Mexico seeks to “generate empathy by putting the population in a condition of labor formality, in the place of domestic workers who do not have benefits or labor rights.”
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi), nine out of 10 people who work in homes, cleaning or taking care of other people and pets, are women. The 98% work informally, without a contract and without social security.
In 2019, the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) launched a pilot program to affiliate this population. Congress has yet to complete the legal reform that same year to make it mandatory for employers to register workers with that body.
However, so far only 2% of the 2.4 million people who worked in this sector before the pandemic have been registered with the IMSS.
A page to train employers
The economic, social and health crisis caused by covid-19 has impacted “particularly the domestic workers because of the precarious situation in which they work,” says UN Mexico.
“However, this situation has also shown that they occupy a crucial place in the response to this pandemic; They are the ones who take care of girls and boys, sick and dependent people, contribute to the maintenance of homes and are protagonists in the prevention of contagion”.
For this reason, said organization decided to create this campaign, which is part of the project Closing gaps: Social protection for women in Mexico. The initiative is financed by the SDG Fund, and implemented by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and various UN agencies.
Another strategy is the creation of the website eslojusto.mx, where they indicate that employers have the obligation to protect and guarantee the rights of the workers they hire and inform them what those rights are and how they can be fulfilled. .
For example, they have the right to:
- not be discriminated against
- Access to Social Security
- to a written contract
- Vacations, Christmas bonus and paid days off
- Work day of maximum 8 hours
- safe work environment
- Redundancy payment
In that site they also remind them that they must provide them with nutritious food of the same quality that the employer consumes, as well as a comfortable and hygienic room for those who work on the plant.
And he explains to them that “by affiliating the domestic workers to IMSS, medical expenses in case of illness or accident at work, as well as those associated with medical care in case of pregnancy, will be covered by social security.