Inna Kudinska, lawyer at Labor initiatives, gave a speech at the Parliament of Ukraine during a historic parliamentary hearing on the rights of women from vulnerable groups. A record 700 participants were registered, and 30 of those were given the floor. Ms. Kudinska also spoke at the hearing, bringing attention to women’s labor rights, and women’s economic empowerment.
According to the Labor initiatives team and Ms. Kudinska, discrimination against women in the sphere of work continues to be an issue, both at private and state enterprises. Insufficient social security of women from vulnerable social groups only exacerbates discriminatory tendencies in the sphere of work. Women face labor rights violations during the hiring process, employers are reluctant to hire women because of possible pregnancy, childcare leave and other social guarantees for working women.
Single mothers often face multiple forms of discrimination in the workplace: they are less likely to get hired, are more likely to work informally, and are often fired on a general basis, despite the guarantees provided by the Art.184 of the Code of Labor Laws. Art. 184 stipulates that the dismissal of single mothers with a child under the age of 14 or a child with a disability is not allowed except in cases of complete liquidation of the enterprise, where dismissal is allowed solely on the ground of compulsory employment. De-facto, single mothers are forced to leave their jobs. Employers create intolerable work conditions for them, pressuring them to quit through transitioning them to part-time positions, partial payment of their salaries, etc.
Therefore, we believe that in order to resolve this situation, it is necessary to exercise more rigorous monitoring of labor legislation compliance by the authorized body – the State Labor Service, in order to detect such violations as soon as possible and to prevent violations of the rights of single mothers in the future. For this, it is necessary to continue to implement the mechanisms defined in the ILO Conventions No. 81 and No.129 ratified by Ukraine concerning the powers of labor inspectorates.
According to experts from the International Confederation of Trade Unions, there are around 100 million migrant domestic workers in the world, 83% of them are women. A significant number of internal migrant workers take upon jobs of nannies and housekeepers. According to the latest data from the State Statistics Service, there are about 160,000 employees in Ukraine who provide household and personal services to families. Most of them are women. Rural women often agree to work as domestic workers because of high unemployment rate in rural areas. Such women face numerous violations of their labor rights: informal employment, non-payment of social taxes by the employer, etc. Moreover, their right to adequate rest is not fulfilled.
Taking into account the fact that national legislation does not provide the rights and obligations for this category of workers, the ratification of the ILO Convention No. 189 on decent work for domestic workers will be an important step for strengthening social guarantees for women who are domestic workers.
For instance, the following rights will be guaranteed for the domestic workers: the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining, at least one day off for a week, a salary of at least in the amount of the minimum wage, paid annual leave, payment for overtime work.
Moreover, ratification of the Convention will implement international mechanisms for the protection of women’s rights in this area in Ukraine.