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Safety Net for Domestic Help: Now Those Who Pay Their Maid Less To Land in Jail!

The domestic helps perform various chores and now, thanks to Tamil Nadu authorities, they are going to get their dues.

Domestic help is taken for granted so much, we even complain when they switch the fan off to clean the room. Well, they do work day and night–to keep the house running like a well-oiled machine. What we forget is that they aren’t machines.

Based on the recommendations of a panel headed by the Coimbatore Deputy Commission of Labour, the wages were fixed which was a safety net for the workers, reports The Times of India.

In a recent notification from the Tamil Nadu State Government, the minimum hourly wage for “unskilled” domestic help is Rs 37 per hour. Remuneration amounts have been fixed at Rs 39, and Rs 38 per hour, for skilled workers like home nurses and semi-skilled helps like cooks and gardeners.

Don't under pay your domestic help, say authorities in Chennai Image Source
Don’t under pay your domestic help, say authorities in Chennai. Image Source

The minimum rate for an entire day’s chores done in eight hours, which includes washing clothes and utensils, sweeping and mopping the floor and babysitting, is now Rs 6,836 per month, with qualified home nurses to at least Rs 8,051 for similar working hours.

For in-house workers, both semi-skilled and unskilled, the remuneration is 10% higher. This amount does not include food, clothing, accommodation and other benefits.

Here’s what you should know:-

1. Wherever existing wages are higher than the minimum wages fixed, the same shall be continued.

2. To arrive at the daily wages, the monthly wages must be divided by 26.

3. To arrive at hourly rate of wages, the daily rate must be divided by 8.

4. To calculate monthly wages for one hour per day, multiply the hourly rate of wages by 30

5. There should be no difference in pay between male and female employees, where the nature of work is the same.

6. The Dearness Allowance is linked to the Average Chennai City Consumer Price Index for 2015, that is 248 points. An increase in 1 point will require an increase of Rs 26 in the DA.

It was the recommendations of an 8-member committee, headed by the Deputy Commissioner which formed the basis for the Government’s notification. The committee met with labour inspectors, domestic workers unions and employers, over a period of six months in 2017, to formulate the policy.

Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Rajasthan and Punjab have been lauded for including domestic help in the schedule of the Minimum Wages Act 1948.


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If found in violation of this notification, employers can be tried under the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act 1976, Minimum Wages Act 1948, along with Sections 370 and 374 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The punishment for these violations goes up to imprisonment for seven years.

So do not cut costs to pay your domestic help lesser than stipulated. They may help keep everything organised in your house, but they also have to run theirs.

(Edited by Shruti Singhal)

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