Brazil president signs law expanding rights of domestic workers

[JURIST] Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff [official website, in Portuguese] on Friday signed into law a measure providing basic protections to Brazilian domestic workers [LCP 147, in Portuguese]. The law limits domestic workers' work weeks to 44 hours, and the work day to eight hours. The law also creates a minimum wage [Latin Post report] and requires employers to register their domestic workers and provide lunch breaks, social security and severance pay.

Domestic workers, especially those working abroad, tend to have far fewer protections than other classes of workers. In April Amnesty International reported on the human rights abuses faced by migrant domestic workers [JURIST report] in Qatar. In November Human Rights Watch issued a letter to the Labor Minister of Morocco, Abdeslam Seddiki, imploring the Moroccan government to revise a draft law before the Moroccan parliament regarding legal protections for domestic workers to comply with international standards. In 2011, International Labor Organization (ILO) [official website] passed the Domestic Workers Convention (No. 189) [text], a measure extending basic labor rights to workers in signatory countries, including days off each week, set hours and a minimum wage. The law came into effect [JURIST report] in September of 2013 for signatory countries.

 

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