What is Domestic Work?

Domestic is a broad term that refers to work performed within a person’s household. Domestic work includes housework, such as cleaning, cooking, and other tasks that need to be completed on a regular basis. Domestic workers are generally not paid a minimum wage, which makes them an overlooked group of workers. In many countries, however, workers are legally entitled to a minimum wage that is much lower than other types of workers. For this reason, the word domestic is used to describe workers within a household.

Although the term domestic does not have a specific definition, most countries recognize it as an unclassified group of workers. As the name implies, domestic workers work for private households and generally have few rights or benefits. Domestic workers are rarely given labor contracts and usually receive no maternity leave, health care, or pension provision. Many countries exclude domestic workers from their national labor laws, which make it harder for them to access better conditions for themselves and their families. In many developing countries, the number of women working outside the home has grown rapidly. While domestic workers are still considered an underpaid group, a large number of men work in the domestic sector.

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Domestic violence can take many forms, and is never far from the news. In fact, state legislatures have become leaders in defining and penalizing domestic violence. While some states place domestic violence definitions into the criminal code, nearly every state provides its own definitions of the term in its social service codes. Broad definitions can include anything from physical assault to harassment. In addition to physical assaults, domestic violence also encompasses sexual abuse, harassment, and other forms of emotional abuse.

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