Domestic workers will be able to collect unemployment benefits and their dismissal without cause is eliminated

This Tuesday, one more step is taken to end discrimination that reaches around 400,000 working women. The Government approves in the Council of Ministers a decree that regulates the unemployment protection of domestic workers, a group made up mostly of women and excluded from unemployment to date, which European justice branded as discriminatory in a historic ruling last February. The rule not only recognizes the right to unemployment, but also equates more rights for these employees and eliminates another of the biggest disadvantages for the group: dismissal without cause.

European Justice concludes that Spain discriminates against domestic workers by denying them unemployment

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The norm will pass this Tuesday by the Council of Ministers, in the form of a royal decree law with immediate effects in several of its points. Afterwards, it must be validated by the Congress of Deputies to be incorporated into the legal framework. According to the draft consulted by, the law enters into force the day after its publication in the BOE, except for some precepts.

For example, regarding the new obligation to contribute for unemployment and also the FOGASA, for which the State is responsible for compensation and unpaid wages to workers, two start dates are established: October 1 in general and January 1, 2023 for employees with less than 60 monthly hours of work per employer. The rule includes public aid to employer families, which can be higher for those with lower income.

From the Ministry of Labor they respond that domestic workers will be entitled to "all subsidies and benefits like all employees" and that they will be able to collect them "when they generate the right, when they have contributed the relevant amount."

Right to unemployment and more rights

The decree puts an end to the express refusal of the Social Security Law to allow domestic workers to contribute for unemployment. It was this precept that he faced Mariana, a domestic worker in Galicia, who, with the support of her employer and a lawyer She denounced the Social Security and obtained the sentence of the European justice that obliges to recognize the strike to the entire group of workers.

The Government, which had already committed itself in its coalition program to recognize the collective strike, but had not yet done so, accelerated the legislation after the setback by the CJEU. The Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, announced that the Executive would not only regulate unemployment protection but would also expand "more rights" to put these employees on a par with other workers.

The equality is manifested in several measures, among which the end of dismissal without cause for "withdrawal" stands out. To date, households could do without their domestic workers without stating any reason and with reduced compensation (12 days per year worked).

From now on, they are regulated with several specific causes that can justify this specific dismissal in domestic employment, which is recognized as "particular" as it is governed by exceptional situations (there is no employer company, for example). These causes are:

a) Decrease in the income of the family unit or increase in its expenses due to unforeseen circumstances.

b) Substantial modification of the needs of the family unit that justify dispensing with the domestic worker.

c) The behavior of the worker that justifies in a reasonable and proportionate manner the loss of confidence of the employer.

In any case, employers must terminate the contract in writing and justifying the specific cause that supports this type of dismissal, with the right to the same compensation, of 12 days per year worked, with a limit of six monthly payments.

Another extension of rights is the protection of the FOGASA (Salary Guarantee Fund), for which you will also have to contribute. This fund allows the State to respond to wages and unpaid compensation to workers, and domestic workers were also excluded from it.

Aid to employer households

The government decree also collects public aid for the Social Security contribution of households that employ these domestic workers.

People who have hired or hire a domestic worker "will be entitled to a 20% reduction in the business contribution to the Social Security contribution for common contingencies" and also to "an 80% bonus in business contributions to the unemployment contribution and the Salary Guarantee Fund in that Special System”.

In addition, from April 2023, for households with less assets and income (which still needs to be regulated in a regulation in its fine print), employers who hire a domestic worker will have the right "during the entire status of the domestic employee" to a bonus of 45% or 30% in the business contribution to the Social Security contribution for common contingencies“. This case "will only be applicable to a single household employee (...) for each employer". If there is more than one, they will be applied to the first contracted.

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