Conditions of Work and Employment (TRAVAIL)
The visible face of women's invisible labour, Domestic workers in Turkey, Conditions of Work and Employment Series No. 42
by Seyhan Erdogdu and Gülay Toksöz
[full-text, 65 pages]
The study highlights that informality is a predominant feature of domestic work in Turkey, a sector
largely comprised of women workers. For domestic workers recruited locally, informal channels such
as personal acquaintances play an important role in the quest for a job. Migrant domestic workers, on
the other hand, typically rely on intermediary agencies to obtain a job. The activities of unlicensed
agencies increase the workers’ vulnerability to psychological, physical and sexual harassment at work.
Long working hours, lack of social security coverage and casual employment are some other difficulties
facing domestic workers in Turkey. Presently, domestic workers are excluded from the scope of the
Labour Code, but are covered by the Law of Obligations. The authors of the study suggest that there is
need but also room for improving domestic workers’ access to social security and for strengthening the
legal framework addressing domestic workers’ needs and working conditions.