Domestic workers and carers: MEPs to call for proper EU legal status 

Domestic workers and carers, most of whom are migrant women, should be given an official status in EU labour law, so as to discourage human trafficking, forced labour and exploitation, say MEPs in a draft resolution to be voted on Thursday. This recognition should be set out in common EU laws and rules, and should help to establish easy-to-manage models for legal employer-worker relationships, so as to end precariousness and undeclared domestic work, they add.

Domestic workers and carers should be included in all national labour and anti-discrimination laws and be enabled to join trade unions, says the resolution, drafted by Kostadinka Kuneva (GUE/NLG,EL).

The text calls for adequate inspection methods to stop human trafficking, forced labour and financial exploitation of domestic workers, and asks, EU member states to set up bilateral agreements and visa arrangements with states sending domestic workers and carers to the EU, says the text.

Note to editors

According to the ILO, 2.5 million people are employed as domestic workers in the EU, 88% of whom are women (2010 figures). Over 20 million Europeans, two thirds of whom are women, care for dependent adults.


MEPs cite the ”service vouchers” scheme in Belgium and the “universal service employment cheque (CESU)” in France, as examples of successful models with positive impacts on the social and labour conditions of workers in this sector.

Procedure: non-legislative resolution


Debate: Wednesday, 27 April

Vote: Thursday, 28 April

Press conference: Thursday, 28 April at 14.30

#womenrights #domesticworkers