The Irish Congress of Trade Unions today (July 9) warmly welcomed the ratification of the International Labour Organisation’s Domestic Workers’ Convention by the Government, hailing it as “a major advance for domestic workers and their right to decent work.” Congress Legislation and Legal Affairs Officer, Esther Lynch, said the ratification was “major step forward for the workers and the trade unions and campaign groups that supported them – that includes officials and officers of Congress, SIPTU and the Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland (MRCI). “As a result of this coordinated and intensive campaign, the Government has now moved – through ratification of the Convention – to ensuring that domestic workers enjoy a right to decent work and that it can be be held accountable for upholding that right, at the ILO. “That represents a serious and significant commitment and we welcome the Government’s decision, in this regard,” Lynch said. “It is also a vindication of the stance taken by unions and campaign groups that domestic workers are entitled to respect at work and to the rights and entitlements enjoyed by all other workers."Congress and SIPTU Vice-President, Patricia King, also welcomed the decision: “Domestic work is undervalued and often invisible and the experience of unions and the MRCI has shown workers in the sector are particularly vulnerable to discrimination and abuse,” she said. “Congress will continue to work at national level to ensure that the legislation and inspection practices ensure that domestic workers enjoy fair terms of employment as well as decent working conditions and, if they reside in the household, decent living conditions that respect their privacy. “We will also press the Government to adopt the voluntary measures in the associated recommendation to ensure that the rights in the Convention also apply to domestic staff working in embassies based in Ireland – including locally recruited staff,” Patricia King concluded.