News & Events

Major Changes in Domestic Employee Rights

29 July 2019 - 14:51 Publicado por:

Ludimila Lacerda é advogada da Jacó Coelho Advogados Associados
OAB/GO  34-140

It is noteworthy that, throughout the history of our country, several factors contributed to the devaluation of the domestic employee. The abolished slavery left an unfair legacy to those who perform their activities in the residential sector that culminated in the legal and perhaps constitutional discrimination of these workers towards other professional categories.

Therefore, in light of these considerations, the question is: What were the changes implemented by the Brazilian legislature in order to protect the rights of domestic workers and overcome the unconstitutional inequality unfolded before other classes of workers?

Supplementary Law No. 150, of June 1, 2015, in its article 1, defines the domestic employee as being “one who provides services of continuous nature and non-profit purpose to the person or family, in their residential scope, for more than 2 (two) days per week ”, being prohibited the domestic work to the under 18 years.

Therefore, it falls into this category, not only the cleaning lady and the treadmill, but also the private driver, the cook, the elderly or child caregiver, the gardener, etc., provided that the above legal requirements are met.

According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics indexes updated on April 30, 2019, there are 6.1 million domestic workers in Brazil. Notwithstanding the significant number of employees in the category, for decades, had not been able to be perceived, maintaining a working class legally segregated from the others.

This is because the Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil granted domestic workers only certain labor rights, such as: minimum wage; irreducibility of salary; thirteen first salary; paid weekly rest; paid annual leave plus one third of the salary; maternity leave; paternity leave; early warning; retirement and social security integration.

However, this reality had its transformation process driven by the enactment of Constitutional Amendment No. 72 of April 2, 2013, which granted domestic workers various rights already granted to urban and rural workers and, until then, not conferred. to the first category.

In the meantime, domestic workers were immediately granted the following rights: minimum wage guarantee, including for those who receive variable remuneration; protection of the salary according to the law, constituting its intentional withholding; working hours not exceeding eight hours per day and forty-four weekly hours, ensuring the remuneration of the extraordinary service, plus the respective additional; reduction of risks inherent in work, by applying health, hygiene and safety standards; recognition of collective labor agreements and agreements; prohibition of difference in pay, performance of duties and admission criteria on grounds of sex, age, color or marital status, which was also extended to the disabled worker.

However, despite the great legislative advance in the protection of the rights of domestic workers, the aforementioned Constitutional Amendment left many other guarantees, previously granted to the other working classes, whose application to the category of employees in the residential and family sphere had been pending regulation.

Thus, in order to provide legal certainty in the execution of the domestic work contract, as well as to regulate the rights introduced by the constitutional reform, the Complementary Law no. 150/2015, which granted the domestic employee numerous rights, such as , protection against arbitrary or unjustified dismissal, entitlement to unemployment insurance, long-term working life insurance, family allowance, family allowance, worker’s compensation insurance, and so on. others provided for in the legislation.

In addition, the 2017 Labor Reform (Law No. 13.467 / 2017) amended more than 100 articles of the Consolidation of Labor Laws, significantly affecting the employment relationship of the domestic employee, as it is applied to the category under consideration in cases of omission. Domestic Law (LC No. 150/2015), as it is a general rule and with broad application.

Thus, it should be noted that Brazil has been experiencing times of social advancement, promoted by the changes implemented in the country’s legal system, based on the protection of the rights of the working classes, including domestic workers. This is because the use of the labor force can never be considered as an act of favor, nor as an obligation of the economically disadvantaged human being.

Thus, the invisibility of domestic work and the historical and unconstitutional inequality installed on it have been superseded by the social valorization of labor, as well as the