Alburquerque affirms resolution of domestic work protects illegal foreigners
The recent resolution issued by the Ministry of Labor for the formalization of domestic work benefits Dominicans and foreigners, regardless of their immigration status.
According to the jurist, expert in labor matters, and former Vice President of the Republic, Rafael Alburquerque, foreign domestic workers, even if they are undocumented or illegal, have the same labor rights as Dominicans. Therefore, they will still be protected by the new resolution.
Consulted by Listín Diario, Alburquerque indicated that “every illegal worker can sue his employer” since this employer was the one who committed “a fault by hiring him and cannot allege his fault to evade his responsibility.”
The jurist indicated that even if the employer has a verbal agreement with him or the domestic workers, he must comply with the rights established by the recent resolution issued by the labor authorities to formalize this type of occupation. If he does not do so, he is subject to regardless of the immigration status of the plaintiff.
Recently, the president of the National Confederation of Trade Union Unity (CNUS), Rafael-Pepe-Abreu, commented to Listín Diario that more than half of the domestic workers in the country are Haitian and that they rarely have documentation.
He added that the status of these foreign workers would make it difficult for them to integrate into the Dominican Social Security System.
It does not contradict the Code or the Constitution
Alburquerque also referred to the questions regarding Resolution 14-2022, which opposes what is established by the Labor Code or the Constitution of the Republic, indicating that “according to the Constitution, an international treaty approved by the National Congress is a law of the nation with constitutional rank.
She pointed out that the decision of the Ministry of Labor is limited to putting into effect within three months, as stated in Convention 189 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), and affirmed that “domestic women must enjoy working conditions equal to those of other workers.”
Domestic work generated 245,102 jobs, more than double the number of people employed in free trade zones, and was the third largest employer of women in the country, according to the report “Domestic Work in the Dominican Republic: An Approach to the Living and Working Conditions of Women working people in domestic service and its regulation,” prepared by Rosa Cañete Alonso and Ángel Serafín Cuello P. from the Directorate for the Analysis of Poverty, Inequality and Democratic Culture of the Vice Ministry of Economic and Social Analysis of the MEPYD.
The report, prepared before the Government announced the formalization of domestic work, the establishment of a salary of RD$10,000, and its inclusion in social security, indicated that the limited regulation of domestic work and the absence of a minimum wage influence the low-income sector. As of 2021, the monthly income for people employed in this domestic service was RD$8,415 per month, 57% less than other workers.
The formalization of domestic work announced by the Government still has to clarify many concerns of employers and employees, especially concerning the different modalities in which the trade is exercised and the rights acquired in each modality.