10th anniversary of the ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for domestic workers
2 April 2021
Save the Date: In June 2021, the ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for domestic workers will celebrate its 10th anniversary. To date, seven EU Member States have ratified the Convention. Thus, the issue of improving domestic and care workers’ rights remains more than ever a topical issue. The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted both the essential contributions of those workers to our societies and the precarious working and living conditions a vast majority of them still face.
The 10th Anniversary marks an important milestone to take stock of the progress made and the challenges ahead. EFFE is commited along with European partners, the Commission and ILO’s Brussels’ office to organize an online event on June 28-29 2021, which will outline practices and policies to enhance the situation of personal and household services workers.
Live interpretation will be available in English, French, Italian, German, Polish, Romanian and Spanish.
In order to foster exchanges among participants, a gathering space will be available on Wonder for a virtual come togethers at the end of panels. Participants will have the opportunity to have informal chats with the various panelists as well as with the other conference participants.
Monday 28th June 2021
Introductory session (10:30 -12:00)
This session will introduce the event, recall the significance of the adoption of ILO C189 and outline the current challenges of the domestic work sector and the C189 ratification process in the European Union.
Testimony video on the adoption of the Convention by the International Domestic Workers Fededation (IDWF)
Presentation of the C189 Alliance and the event by Aurélie Decker, Director of EFSI
EU Political introduction by Nicolas Schmit, European Commissionner for Jobs and Social Rights
International perspectives by Martha Newton, ILO’s Deputy Director General for Policy
Miguel Filipe Pardal Cabrita, Secretary of State for Labour, Vocational Training of Portugal, representing the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Presentation of ILO 2021 Flagship report on domestic work by Claire Hobden, ILO Technical Officer, Vulnerable workers
Guaranteeing gender equality in domestic work sector by, Carlien Scheele, Director at EIGE
Panel 1 – Labour law and social protection frameworks: from regulatory gaps to full recognition of domestic workers’ rights (14:00 -15:15)
Objective of the panel : despite the adoption of ILO Convention 189, many domestic workers still suffer from poor labour law and social protection. So far, only seven EU Member States have ratified the Convention.Amongst the 6.3 million formal domestic workers working in the EU, nearly 2 million of them do not enjoy standard labour rights and social protection as they belong to specific derogatory regulations. Therefore, this panel will address the general regulative exemptions and gaps which still apply to domestic workers. It will discuss how decision makers can set up more supportive regulatory frameworks and present initiatives aimed at ratifying ILO Convention 189, improving national regulations and fostering social dialogue in the sector (towards a better representation and structuration of the sector).
Moderator: Mark Bergfeld, Director of Property Services & UNICARE at UNI Global Union
The importance of social dialogue, video by ACV/CSC – Belgium
A New Work-Life balance policy: the opportunity to formalize care (the crossroads of policies against job insecurity in the domestic work sector) by Carmen Grau Pineda Professor de la University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Gema Quintero Lima Professor de la University of Carlos III Madrid – Spain
Social dialogue as an effective tool towards the domestic workers’ rights improvementby Wendy Galarza from Filcams-CGIL – Italy
Brid Gould, Global VP of Quality Assurance and Clinical Care, Sodexo Homecare – Ireland
Advocating for domestic workers rights under the pandemic at the intersection of immigrants and workers’ rights in the United States of America – lessons and inspirations, by Anna Rosińska, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and Elizabeth Pellerito, Labor Education Program, University of Massachusetts Lowell – United-States
Ten years of C189: voices from domestic workers’ organisers, video produced by DomEQUAL, PI Sabrina Marchetti (Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy)
Q&A session with the audience
Panel 2 – Tackling undeclared work in domestic work: challenges and successful practices (15:45 – 17:00)
Objective of the panel: An appropriate labour law and social protection framewo rk does not necessarily prevent undeclared work in the domestic sector. Thus, at least 3,1 million domestic workers are undeclared in the EU. The decision to hire a domestic worker formally or on the undeclared market is driven by many factors such as the relative cost and the administrative complexity, as well as the affordability of doing so in relation to a user’s income and need. Therefore, while there are various instruments that contribute to reducing undeclared work in the domestic work sector, this panel will focus on measures aimed at reducing the cost of formally hiring a domestic worker (e.g. social-fiscal incentives), at improving detection and at reducing the administrative complexity.
Moderator: Kerstin Howald, Political Secretary for Tourism and Domestic Work sectors, EFFAT
Domestic care workers in the EU: working condition challenges, undeclared work & policy options, by Hans Dubois, research manager in the Social Policies unit at Eurofound
Italian domestic work and immigration, video presented by Andrea Zini, President of Assindatcolf – Italy
The cost of PHS support policies Jean-François Lebrun – EU expert on PHS policies – France & Belgium
Tackling undeclared work in the German domestic sector: the way forward, by Renate Kuhn from DGB – Germany
European Commission inputs on undeclared work, by Elodie Fazi, policy officer on undeclared work in DG EMPL’s unit D.1 “Free movement of workers, EURES” and Krzysztof Bandasz, Officer for the European Labour Authority (ELA)
Q&A session with the audience
Tuesday 29th June 2021
Panel 3 – Guaranteeing the effective enforcement of domestic workers’ rights (9:00 – 10:15)
Objective of the panel: Even in countries where the labour and social protection regulatory frameworks could be considered “satisfactory”, we witness a weak enforcement of these rights. Therefore, this panel will present various national and local initiatives aimed at improving the enforcement of labour and social protection standards for domestic workers. It will notably address the issues of access to social protection, domestic workers’ professionalisation and health & safety prevention measures.
Moderator: Karin Pape, Regional coordinator for Europe, IDWF
How specific EU labour law sources can be used to challenge national provisions and practices that make domestic work vulnerable to exploitation by Vera Pavlou from the University of Glasgow
Promoting Better Working Conditions on the Domestic Sector by Teresa Pargana, Head of Division for Studies Conception and Technical Support to Inspection Activity, Working condition authority (ACT) – Portugal
Training and certification, a key for domestic housekeepers’ professionalisation, by Baptiste Lenfant, CEO at Iperia– France
Ensuring domestic workers’ well-being and safety at work by Peter Van de Veire, Director of the Service Voucher Sectoral Training Fund – Belgium
The role of bilateral bodies in the domestic work sector as a key factor in training and prevention by Massimo De Luca, Director of DOMINA National Observatory on Domestic Work – Italy
Raluca Painter, Head of unit “Labour Market, Health and Social Services” at DG REFORM
Q&A session with the audience
Panel 4 – Digital platforms and domestic workers’ rights (10:45 – 12:00)
Objective of the panel: Digital platforms offer opportunities for opening up employment to greater participation while at the same time having the potential to expand on precariousness in the labour market. Therefore, this panel will explore how online platforms and more globally the “gig economy”, could act as a virtuous model to strengthen domestic workers’ status. It is anticipated that both the advantages and risks of digital solutions for domestic workers, including the latest regulatory developments both at European and national levels will also be discussed.
Moderator: Thomas Bignal, Policy Manager, EASPD
The French online declarative platform CESU : a way to tackle undeclared work and guarantee social rights by Adrien Gauthier, ACCOSS – France
Pursuit of decent work, equality and human rights: A lifetime journey for domestic workers by Mariaam Bhatti, Co-founder at the Great Care Co-op – Ireland
Dawn Gearhart, Gig Economy Organizing Director from the National Domestic Workers Alliance – United-States
European Commission’s inputs on the on-going initiative on platform work by Nikolay Stoyanov, Policy Officer – Future of Work European Commission, Unit Employment Strategy (EMPL.B.1)
Objective of the panel: This session will discuss how decision makers can improve the situation of migrant domestic workers (MDW) in Europe by improving regular pathways for migration, implementing regularisation schemes, and addressing particular challenges for migrant domestic workers’ labour rights.
Moderator: Aude Boisseuil, General Delegate, EFFE
Presentation of the issues at stake and concrete proposals by Lilana Keith, Senior Advocacy Officer, PICUM
Migrant Domestic workers’ health: an Italian case study, by Francesca Alice Vianello, Assistant professor in Sociology of economics and work at University of Padua – Italy
Hidden at Work: how domestic workers lack protection from exploitation, by Anna Ensing, Project leader at FairWork –Netherlands
Improving and ensuring domestic worker rights, addressing the gaps in protection, by Avril Sharp, Policy and Casework officer at Kalayaan – United Kingdom
Regularisation pathways for migrants domestic workers by Marianne Halle, Centre de contact Suisses-immigrés Genève (CCSI) – Canton of Geneva -Switzerland
“East-West Care Bonds?“: Care Migration from Central and Eastern Europe by Dr Petra Ezzedine, researcher at Charles University/SIMI, Prague
Q&A session with the audience
Closing session: Improving domestic workers’ rights at European level (15:15 – 17:00)
Moderator: Lieve Verboven, Director of the ILO Office for the European Union and the Benelux countries