More job security and the same rights as other workers. / sur

Domestic staff in Spain will have the right to unemployment benefit under new law

The government is expected to approve the new regulations today, Tuesday 6 September, bringing the 400,000 registered domestic workers in line with other salaried staff and making their jobs more secure

LUCÍA PALACIOS Madrid

“Tomorrow is going to be a big day for our country. We are going to give domestic workers the right to unemployment benefit and exactly the same rights as any other worker,” deputy prime minister Yolanda Díaz said on Monday, about a new law which is due to be approved today.

The new regulations will mean these workers can no longer be dismissed without good reason, something which has always been a problem for them until now.

Díaz said this is one of the new regulations in Spain which she finds most satisfying, and it comes after the European Court of Justice decreed that Spanish law was discriminatory because it did not recognise the right to unemployment benefit for these workers, the vast majority of whom are women.

Around 400,000 workers are registered as domestic staff in Spain, and they will be able to claim unemployment benefit once they have paid into the Social Security system for one year.

Their jobs will also be more secure: until now, employers could dismiss domestic workers without having to give a reason, with just 20 days’ notice if they had been employed for more than a year and seven days’ notice if they had been working for less time. The compensation was also extremely low: the equivalent of 12 days’ pay for every year worked, up to a maximum of six months’ salary.