Advertisement

The Language of Employment Contract: Paid Domestic Work Practices and Relations

  • Neetha N.
Chapter

Abstract

Paid domestic work and its specificities have raised many challenges in the understanding of the world of work, be it the specificity of employment relations and conditions, labour regulations and organizations of workers. The employer-employee relationship that characterizes most domestic work relationships is one of wage labour and symbolic contract, with various levels of personal relationships existing side by side. However, the language of employment contract dominates the current policy discussions on regulating working conditions and employment relations of domestic workers. The chapter through analysing the existing employment conditions and practices of workers who are part of a workers’ collective explores the possibility and implications of formal contracts for domestic workers. The chapter argues that though formal contracts have been the focus of the collective, in the current context many workers are hesitant in moving away from personal relations with employers to that of formal relations. Even when workers are members of collectives which promote formal contracts, labour rights and worker identity remain as challenges, owing to their social and economic specificities.

Keywords

Domestic work Cooperatives NGO Trade union Recruitment practices Employment contracts 

References

  1. ILO. 2012. “Domestic workers across the world: Global and regional statistics and the extent of legal protection”. International Labour Organization. http://www.ilo.org/global/publications/books/WCMS_200962/lang%2D%2Den/index.htm. Accessed on 30 April 2013.
  2. Mirchandaney. 2011. “Her victory marks a milestone in the domestic workers’ struggle in India”. People for Social Cause Blog. http://peopleforsocialcause.blogspot.com/2011/05/her-victory-marks-milestone-in-domestic.html. Accessed on 20 August 2018.
  3. Neetha N. 2004. “Making of Female Bread Winners: Migration and Social Networking of Women Domestics in Delhi”. Economic and Political Weekly 39(17): 1681–1689.Google Scholar
  4. Neetha N., and Rajni Palriwala. 2011. “Why the Absence of Law? Domestic Workers in India”. Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 23(1): 97–119.Google Scholar
  5. Neetha N. 2013. “Paid Domestic Work: Making Sense of the Jigsaw Puzzle”. Economic and Political Weekly 48(43): 35–38.Google Scholar
  6. Neetha N. 2017. “Employees’ State Insurance Scheme for Domestic Workers: Yet Another Mockery”. Economic and Political Weekly 52(11): 16–18.Google Scholar
  7. Neetha N. 2015a. “Minimum Wage Setting Practices in Domestic Work: An Inter-State Analysis”. Conditions of Work and Employment Series - No. 66, International Labour Office, Inclusive Labour Markets, Labour Relations and Working Conditions Branch. Geneva: ILOGoogle Scholar
  8. Neetha N. 2015b. “Workers or Vulnerable Women: Organizing Domestic Workers”. Paper Presented at the Conference on “Labour (Un)Divided: Categories and Collectivities”. Organised by the School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University, 18–20 November.Google Scholar
  9. Neetha N. 2018. “Fair Recruitment Practices of Domestic Workers: Lessons from Co-operative/Collective Initiatives”. Unpublished Report. Work in Freedom Project. India Office: ILO.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neetha N.
    • 1
  1. 1.Professor and Deputy Director, Centre for Women’s Development StudiesNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations