ECJ rules domestic workers have the right to unemployment

ECJ rules domestic workers have the right to unemployment

ECJ rules domestic workers have the right to unemployment Source: Pixabay

A domestic worker from Vigo in Galicia has taken her case to the European Court of Justice for them to rule on whether they have the right to collect unemployment, a case that she has won. The worker was supported in her case by her employer who both were of the opinion that it was unfair that in Spain, domestic workers do not qualify for unemployment support.

Xiara spokesperson and activist Teresa Rodríguez, said that this is an abandoned group, 95 percent of whom are women. The fact that they could not contribute to or qualify for unemployment is grossly unfair and affects the more poor, immigrants and those with limited resources.

The court’s judgement clearly shows that the law is sexist and this reflected in their judgement which says: “To the extent that said provision places female workers at a particular disadvantage with respect to male workers and is not justified by objective factors and unrelated to any discrimination based on sex.”

The ruling will have significant consequences for the Spanish Government who will now have to introduce new legislation to remove the discrimination, as it will need to determine what unemployment contributions will need to be made.

Currently there are 378,000 women registered with social security however it is believed that many others work without contracts and without benefits or contributions. The latter group in particular is an awkward one for the government to deal with as this group operate largely under the radar, but more importantly many of them could not afford the self-employed (autonomo) rates that are currently in place throughout Spain.

The ruling by the European Court of Justice that domestic workers have the right to unemployment will bring Spain back in line with other western European countries, however implementation of the judgement may be less than easy given the nature of this group, the work they do and the money they earn.

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Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at