European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions
Together for decent work and fair pay from farm to fork

Time for EU Member States to implement the ILO domestic workers convention


The European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT) welcomes the adoption by the EU’s Council of Ministers of a Decision authorising Member States to ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention concerning fair and decent work for domestic workers (Convention No. 189), which entered into force on 5 September 2013.

The Decision was proposed by the Commission in March 2013, and endorsed by the European Parliament.

To implement the 2011 ILO Domestic Workers Convention, ratifying States will have to make sure that workers who care for families and households receive the same fundamental labour rights as other workers.

This includes a minimum wage, clear terms and conditions of employment, daily and weekly (at least 24 consecutive hours) rest time, restrictions on in-kind payments, and respect for the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

To date, Italy and Germany are the only EU Member States to have ratified the convention. It is yet to enter into force in Germany.

Ensuring equal rights for domestic worker continues to take priority for EFFAT, which will undertake a project in 2014 to gain an overview of industrial relations in the domestic work sector in Europe, including a better understanding of trade unions that organise and represent domestic workers, their employer and social partner structures, and collective agreements.

Media contact: Dominique Mitchell +32 490 56 94 05 or

EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.