Domestic Workers During the Covid-19 Crisis: Pathways of Impact, Recovery and Resilience in Six Cities
THEME: Precarious and Informal Work
TITLE: Domestic Workers During the Covid-19 Crisis: Pathways of Impact, Recovery and Resilience in Six Cities
PUBLISHED BY: Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)
WHO IS THIS FOR: Domestic workers provide essential direct and indirect care services for households globally, and yet they experience some of the most vulnerable situations. They earn a fraction of the monthly wages of formal employees, and only one in five domestic workers is covered by employment-related social security (ILO 2021).
The Covid-19 pandemic only worsened domestic workers’ socio-economic disadvantages. Bereft of social safety nets, the sting of job losses during the pandemic and resulting income losses threatened to be especially painful to domestic workers. Those who remained employed were required to be in others’ homes, and often multiple homes, exposing them to heightened risks of catching the virus, often without access to health care.
This report explores how the pandemic has exposed and worsened domestic workers’ legal, economic and social plight. It looks at how Covid-19 accentuated the mismatch between the necessity for domestic workers’ labour to sustain households and their precarious working and living conditions. Those working on the informal, domestic worker and migrant worker sector, including unionists, policy-makers, worker educators and researchers, will find this useful.