Areas of Expertise

Informal Economy

Informal Economy
© ILO/M. Crozet

A domestic worker - Marife

Marife is 35 years old. She has been working as domestic worker for 18 years and with her current employer, her job terms (contract) were explained to her verbally and she thinks it is fine this way.  During the first years, Marife was often not paid. "I only started to receive a real salary when I was 21," she said. "Until that age, my payment was often in used clothes and food.” She is paid monthly, at a rate, below the set minimum wage. Her working hours range from 12 to 16 hours per day. Holidays have not been specified, and she does not receive overtime pay. She does work even when she is sick because she does not want to lose the job, and needs that income to support medical treatment. Marife  does not think that joining the trade union is worth it for her (as she believes trade unions are for company workers). She does not know that domestic workers in her country are protected within the "Domestic Workers Act" or "Batas Kasambahay" and are entitled to formal registration of contracts, provision for monthly minimum wage, social protection benefits, rest periods (C189[1]). Marife does not enjoy any of these basic workers’ rights; but her life could change soon because she heard on the radio about organisations of domestic workers fighting for their rights

[1] C189 - Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189) - Convention concerning decent work for domestic workers



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