• As of January 1, 2023, employers who hire a domestic worker must be the ones who register her with Social Security

    30% of the domestic workers that operate in Catalonia do so without a contract of work. A irregularity which has rebounded since the start of the pandemicwhen many families fired their employees and later rehired them ‘in B‘. In Catalonia, some 24,000 employees of the home, of the 80,000 who dedicate themselves to this trade in Catalan lands. That 30% does not have any right or protection associated with a Social Security registration, such as the possibility of taking a short if they fall ill or be able to enjoy a paid vacation. As of January 1, 2023, all employers that have or hire a domestic worker must compulsorily register them with Social Security.

    This is confirmed by a report recently published by the Labor Department of the Generalitat de Catalunya, which quantifies that the average salary in this profession was in 2021 of 858 euros gross per month, almost 60% lower than the average salary among the rest of the workers and below the minimum interprofessional salary (SMI) for that year (965 euros, in 14 payments).

    “It is a sector with a strong weight of the submerged economy and of low wages; contradictory aspects if we keep in mind the social value of the work that is carried out, the care of the most important thing for a society, the home and its people”, they point out from Treball.

    Its weight in GDP is like that of the timber industry

    The Observatori del Traball i el Model Productiu has published a pioneering study in relation to the dimension of domestic work in Catalonia and the conditions in which its professionals operate. This group, which cleans and cares for dependent people in thousands of residences in Catalonia, represents a 0.7% of the Catalan economic activity, with a weight similar to that of other sectors such as the wood industry or activities linked to research and development.

    And its weight in employment is three times higher, representing around 2.3% of the total number of workers in the Catalan economy. Half of them born in the Foreign. “Above all, workers are hired from South America, led by those of Honduras & rdquor ;, point out from Treball. A substantially higher weight compared to other European countries, to the point that in Spain there are 2.5 times more domestic workers than in the average of the European Union states.

    The Generalitat explains this higher proportion because in Catalan lands there is a higher proportion of people older than 85 years, which usually require the assistance of third parties in their day to day. As well as a greater participation of young women in the labor market, who have traditionally performed these care tasks.

    Upturn in irregularity after the pandemic

    The pandemic was a hard blow for this group, which has not yet fully recovered at the employment level. The current number of female workers registered with Social Security is the lowest since the 2012, which suggests that part of the domestic workers have recovered their occupation but they have done so ‘in B’. Or new employees have been added directly without a contract.

    The employer families launch this 2023 obligations towards Social Security. From the January 1 they are responsible for ensuring that their employee is registered and making contributions and they must be the ones who actively register them. Until now, the regulations established the possibility for workers who carried out less than 60 hours monthly payments to take charge of their affiliation, registration and cancellation if they agreed with the family or company. As of 2023, the obligations correspond to employers.

    More protection against dismissal

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    This reform approved by the Government in September 2022 also reinforces protection against dismissal of domestic workers. From now on, families must always justify the reason if they fire their employee, when before they could simply argue that they had lost confidence in her and give her a minimum notice.

    Now families can only invoke a fair dismissal in three cases. On the one hand, if they have suffered a decrease in income or an increase in expenses “supervening”. For example, that one of the members of the household loses their job or they have to enter another in a private residence. Another way is thesubstantial modification of the needs of the family unit & rdquor ;. For example, that the person the domestic worker cared for dies and her services are no longer necessary. And the third is aloss of confidence” in the employee that can be based “in a reasonable and proportionate manner”, according to the royal decree published in the Official State Gazette (BOE).