This Thursday the ELAS Fund launches the second block of the series Domestic Workers: Rights and Challenges - A Conversation with Creuza Oliveira. Since April 27, Domestic Workers' Day, every Thursday we publish excerpts from interviews with the general secretary of the National Federation of Domestic Workers (Fenatrad) about the category's struggle for rights, a struggle that the ELAS Fund follows, supports and strengthens.
Today we continue the conversation with Creuza Oliveira's view of Law 150/2015, the Domestic Workers' PEC. What were the advances and what were the limits of this law? What has changed since?
Limits of Law 150/2015
Law 150 is important because it defines the issue of working hours, compulsory FGTS (previously optional), we now have the right to family wages, unemployment insurance, accidents at work, overtime, night-time pay, but the law is still unequal. It allows, for example, for a 12-month bank of hours: the worker works overtime and only gets paid for it at the end of 12 months. Then the boss forgets about it, doesn't he? What's more, it's only possible for an employee to have a bank of hours if there is an employer's union, otherwise this practice is illegal, it's unconstitutional. Even so, if the employer wants to do it, the law allows it. This hurts us a lot.
Another thing that shows that the law treats us unequally is the fact that other workers are entitled to 5 months of unemployment insurance, while we domestic workers only get 3 months.
The struggle was to equalize our rights with those of the workers of Brazil, but the inequalities continue. Other workers receive FGTS after 12 months, but we don't: we only get it after 15 months of work. We continue to be treated in a discriminatory manner.
Why can't we have the same rights as other categories?
Here comes the question of day laborers: those who only work two days a week don't have an employment relationship, but there are other categories, such as teachers, doctors, lawyers and other professionals, who work two days a week and have an employment relationship in all the institutions where they provide their services. Why can't a worker have an employment relationship if she works two days? Many work for years in the same house like this.
Another thing is the traveling maid: if she's hired in Rio and travels to São Paulo with her employers, for example, she doesn't get a night shift or overtime, she's only entitled to an extra 20% of her salary. Another thing is the temporary and partial worker, who works for 3, 4 or 5 months and then quits her job and doesn't have the same rights.
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