Labour, Jobs and Employment – Harmonization of labour laws, gender gap, unemployment, etc.

New national policy for domestic workers being drafted, 40 lakh to benefit


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: National policy for domestic workers

Mains level: Welfare measures for domestic workers and unorganized sector workers


  • The Ministry of Labour & Employment is set to formulate a National Policy on Domestic Workers for providing various social securities.

Draft National Policy on Domestic Workers

  1. In a bid to give recognition to domestic workers besides making them eligible for minimum wages, social security and safe working conditions, labour ministry is drafting the national policy.
  2. As per the National Sample Survey, there are an estimated 39 lakhs people employed as domestic workers by private households, of which 26 lakhs are female domestic workers.
  3. Some of the salient features of the proposed draft are:
  • Inclusion of Domestic Workers in the existing legislations
  • Right to register as unorganized   workers
  • Right to form their own associations/unions
  • Right to minimum wages, access to social security
  • Right to enhance their skills
  • Protection against from abuse and exploitation
  • Access to courts, tribunals for grievance redressal
  • Establishment of a mechanism for regulation of private placement agencies.
  • Establishment of a grievance redressal system for domestic workers.

Other Policy Measures

  1. The Centre is already implementing Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008.
  2. The act aims to provide social security relating to life and disability cover, health and maternity benefits, old age protection to the unorganised workers including domestic workers.
  3. The ministry is also drafting a Universal Social Security Code that would cover even domestic workers, who are otherwise deprived of benefits such as medical insurance, pension, maternity and mandatory leave.
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