Maids to get better pay in Brazil

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BRASILIA, BRAZIL—The Brazilian senate has brought in a new law which gives domestic servants the same rights as other workers for the first time.

An estimated seven million house maids and cooks will be entitled to overtime after working for a maximum of eight hours a day and forty four hours a week.

The constitutional amendment will be put into effect next week, and could increase the costs of domestic workers by nearly 20%. This will be seen as an upset to many Brazilian families, who have grown used to having maids cook, clean, and wash for them.

 Recently, rights have been revised to include holidays, sick leave, and maternity leave.

These new rights to come into effect have been called historic by many, and are widely recommended in Brazil.

“It’s the second abolition of slavery. We have house maids who work 18 hours a day.” The head of Sao Paulo’s domestic workers, Eliana Menezes, said. “They are subjected to their employers’ rules in their homes.”

The trend towards equal rights is turning maid work from a given to an unaffordable luxury for some families, and the law will make these maids even more expensive. The enhanced legal rights would lead to unemployment, some speculate, although this has yet to be proven.

 

By: Julia Roake

Source: BBC

Image: BBC

27 March 2013

10:15am PDT

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