Domestic workers: Work speeds up to approve their right to unemployment in July

The Ministry of Labor is intensifying contacts to have the reform approved and in force before the end of July so that domestic workers are entitled to unemployment. This has been announced by the Secretary of State for Employment, Joaquin Perez Reythis Thursday after meeting with CCOO and UGT, as well as several associations of the group. The Labor roadmap is to recognize, in addition to the unemployment benefit, access to fogasa in case of dismissal and limit the causes of arbitrary dismissal. And now it is in the process of finalizing the ‘how’, both internally within the Government and with the social agents. It should be remembered that domestic workers cannot currently contribute – even if they want to – or collect unemployment, given the differential treatment they have historically received within Social Security.

The first contact between the second vice president, Yolanda Díaz, and the unions on the reform of the protection regime for domestic workers has been positive, as highlighted by both parties. The harmony between the two actors is almost total and potential frictions are expected more within the Executive, since the rights that Díaz intends to guarantee must be paid for and here she will enter the scene both Social Security like Treasury. Since if the route of bonuses is chosen to cushion the costs of greater protection, it must be the State that assumes them.

The message that Labor has wanted to send this Thursday has been that of “maximum speed”. “It is a norm that will be approved by the emergency routeso that it can enter into force as soon as possible”, explained Pérez Rey. In other words, it will be in the form of a royal decree law, which must validate a Minister council and the aim of Labor is that this happens before the end of July. Once approved, it will enter into force the day after its publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE).

At the moment, the rights that Labor has publicly said that it will recognize to domestic workers are already being recognized by justice, via sentences. After the ruling of the European justice that determined discriminatory and unjustified the differential treatment that the Spanish State gives to domestic workers, several courts have recognized benefits and subsidies for this group. For example, the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) has several rulings in which it recognizes the right to collect unemployment benefit, subsidy for people over 52 years of age or access to collect from Fogasa in the event that the employer does not have money to pay severance pay.

In other words, the reform of Yolanda Díaz’s department has regularized a situation that she describes as “historic shame”, but that is marked by the courts. Congress has already approved the ratification of the ILO Convention 189, which represents a symbolic recognition of a worthy quality of working conditions for this group. Now the government needs to specify how it intends to do it and Díaz’s intention is to do it before the end of July.