9 Jun 2010

Call for New Zealand to reverse position on domestic workers

6:45 pm on 9 June 2010

New Zealand's Human Rights Commission is calling on the government to reverse its position on an international decision to create a labour standard for domestic workers.

The Labour Minister, Kate Wilkinson, says the vote at an International Labour Organisation conference was for a recommendation rather than a convention.

The Human Rights Commission's Dr Judy McGregor says an international standard for workers in New Zealand's caregiving and home help sectors is becoming more necessary as the demand for those people, for whom there are no reliable numbers, grows.

"Some research that was there were at least 20,000 home-based care workers alone and I would say probably 99% of them would be women. About half of them would be Pacific and migrant workers. In terms of Pacific workers, they're usually lower paid, often more insecure in terms of employment relationships but do a damn hard job and why wouldn't we want to see them better protected, both here and elsewhere?"

The New Zealand Human Rights Commission's Dr Judy McGregor.