Cleaners ‘in the black’


MORE than 30,000 home helps are expected to swell the numbers of workers employed in the submerged economy.

On June 30 the specific Social Security tier for domestic workers ceased to exist. Those with one employer were automatically re-registered in the general category but cleaners working for several people had to re-register themselves.

As anyone not complying with the new regulation automatically lost social security cover, around 36,700 workers – 12 per cent of the total – remain outside the system, according to the UGT trade union.

The final figure will be closer to 30,000, the union believes, once Social Security offices finish processing the flood of re-registrations that last month averaged 400 a day.

Despite trade union requests, there will be no extension of the deadline for re-registering, the ministry of Labour announced.  There would, however, be “incentives” for cleaners to work legally.

There are an estimated 700,000 domestic employees in Spain but in 2011 only 297,000 were covered by Social Security and approximately 400,000 worked “in the black.” 

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