Some 76,500 domestic workers live in the City of Buenos Aires. And in the second trimester, some 27,500 were left without occupation, almost entirely among those who work informally, without a retirement discount, according to the Buenos Aires Department of Statistics and Censuses. In relation to the first quarter, while the reduction of the Buenos Aires employed population was 18%, “the decline in domestic service is even deeper (over 40%)”.
The Buenos Aires Directorate recognizes that “the other side of the situation is the difficulty of hiring households to continue with the payment of wages to their domestic workers, in a context of decreased income and loss of employment, without counting in these cases with the Emergency Assistance to Work and Production (ATP) ”.
Because it is “one of the most highly precarious branches of activity, non-attendance at work – forced by preventive measures – implies in many cases the violation of labor rights and the reduction of income to zero, without the protection of insurance unemployment and return-to-work security when restrictions are lifted. The lack of registration in the social security and the weak insertion in the labor market are the labels of this activity ”, indicates the Buenos Aires report. The City enabled the return to work of domestic workers, as long as they work in a single address. In addition, they will not be able to use public transport.
The reduction in employment in this sector occurred almost completely among those who work without a retirement discount. With a retirement discount, only 23,500 employees work31% of a total of 76,500 employed persons. The remaining 69% work in the informal sector.
On the other hand, those who have registered in the Social Security through their employer or employer, had better possibilities of maintaining their position, even when more than half did not attend due to quarantine.
Of the 76,500 Buenos Aires employees, 9.3% do so without retirement or “bed in”, that is, the vast majority live in their own homes. According to the report, 37.6% of those who work with retirement are international migrantsAmong those that have more weight those of Paraguayan nationality. Another 34.6% are internal migrants, so more than seven out of ten residents of the City who work in domestic service were born elsewhere where he was part of his family and his career ”.
On the other hand, “59% of the women who work in this activity ‘with retirement’ are heads of household and reside in households without the presence of a spouse (74%). 18.7% live in extended or compound households, that is, in which, in addition to the conjugal nucleus, other relatives or non-relatives reside. The above data show the high percentage of female workers who are in charge of a household.
The Official Report says that domestic service in private homes has an important weight in the labor structure of the City of Buenos Aires: almost 4.9% of the employed population is working in this activity, where feminization is practically total. 10% of employed women do so in this activity.
The Report concludes that in CABA “for the year 2019, 15.3% of households were in a condition of poverty, but when it comes to those with a head occupied in domestic service, the figure shoots up to 46.7%. Measured in persons, it involves more than 56% of the population in households with a female head employed in domestic service. This shows the vulnerability that these workers and their homes have and the severe implications that the pandemic can have in terms of their living conditions ”.