Work-from-home hits domestic workers, as most given leave.


Express News Service

BENGALURU: One of the most-affected sections during the country-wide lockdown are domestic workers – most of them women – who work part-time in homes. Many people have given their domestic helps leave, with some paying them in advance. “My house help used to come every day, but now she comes whenever she can. There is no change in pay,” says Preethika S, an HR professional from Bengaluru.

She is among the many young professionals who are working from home and doing their chores themselves, giving their maids leave.

Often, these workers reside in slums and have an entire family to take care of, said Dr Ruth Manorama, advisor, Karnataka Gruha Karmikara Sangha, adding that a negligible number have smartcards that make them eligible for various schemes.

Unions representing the informal workforce have demanded ‘special funds’, and wages even if factories and workplaces are closed. At a meeting convened by the labour department recently, one of the demands was Rs 10,000 remuneration for families of unorganised workers, said Manorama, adding, “if the domestic workers are not registered, how will the department identify them for the remuneration? The government needs to take care of their needs.”

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