April 21, 2021

One in three domestic employees will be excluded from extraordinary help

The majority female group of domestic workers is made up of some 580,000 women workers, of which 1 in 3 is irregularly employed, which will make it impossible for them to access the extraordinary subsidy that the Government completes for those who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. .

This benefit, which could be approved in the Council of Ministers on Tuesday, would be charged for an extendable month and its amount would be 70% of the contribution base with a maximum of 950 euros, the minimum wage for 2020.

The associations of domestic workers see this help as necessary, but ask that it be taken into account that it is a normal practice that they do not pay for the hours actually worked and that many of the employees are not even registered with Social Security, so they would be left out of this subsidy.

The situation of the group and its conditions are explained in the following keys:

1. How many domestic servants are there in Spain?

In Spain there are 394,171 people affiliated to the special system of domestic employees who, although it falls under the general regime, have fewer rights and obligations.

However, according to the latest active population survey (EPA), at the end of 2019 there were 580,500 people who claimed that they were engaged in household activities as domestic staff.

2. Why is there such a difference between the two sources?

The pooling of both data shows that in Spain only 68% of people who say they work as domestic servants are registered with Social Security, that is, one in three works in the “underground economy” .

3. Who are the household employees?

According to data from affiliates to Social Security, 95% of them are women, since they represent 376,000, compared to 17,000 men. By age, more than half (266,274) are between 25 and 54 years old. In addition, 42% of the total are of foreign origin, the majority (166,394) from non-EU countries.

EPA data shows that 86% are women, with more than 500,000 workers, while almost 79,000 are men. Most of all these employees (320,000) work part time.

4. What is the special system of domestic workers?

The special system of domestic workers was created in 2012 within the general Social Security system, since until then it was a differentiated system.

The contribution rate for common contingencies of the special system of household employees is 28.3% (23.6% by the employer and 4.7% by the employee), while that of professional contingencies is 1, 5%, exclusively at the expense of the employer.

There is a 20% reduction in the employer’s share, which is extended with a bonus of up to 45% in the case of large families.

5. How are they different from the general regime?

Affiliates in this special system do not pay for unemployment, neither for Fogasa (salary guarantee fund) nor for professional training, so they are also not entitled to benefit from these contingencies. Nor are they quoted based on their real income, but based on salary brackets.

6. Why are your rights and obligations not equated with those of the general regime?

When the special system was created, a transitional period was established, which should have ended in 2019 with the comparison with the general regime. During this period, the contribution rates have been increasing annually. However, the different governments have been postponing their equalization -the last time extending the term until 2021-.

Equalization would imply that they were contributing according to their real income and due to the contingencies that are not currently taking place, but also that they could benefit, among others, from unemployment benefits.

7. Does Spain comply with the recommendations of the International Labor Organization (ILO)?

Unemployment benefit for this group is the main stumbling block for Spain to sign Convention 189 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) on domestic employment, which 25 countries such as Germany, Italy or Portugal have already ratified and which is a demand for unions and sectoral associations.


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