The Centre on Monday made public the broad outline of a policy on domestic workers, which entitles them to be recognised as workers, guarantees them a minimum wage, permits unions and recommends a mechanism to resolve disputes, Mint reported.

In a circular, the Ministry of Labour and Employment said the aim was to “expand the scope of applicable legislations, policies and schemes to grant domestic workers rights that are enshrined in laws for other category of workers”.

“Lakhs of people helping the urbanisation process...should not be neglected and need to be given a respectable status and salary,” an unidentified official from the Labour Ministry was quoted as saying. The official added that the allied economy created by domestic workers cannot be ignored, and that a policy to formalise these workers was “a requirement of the time”.

Currently, there is no exact figure for the number of domestic workers in India as they are mostly a floating population.

As per the policy, the government is interested to set up a mechanism that provides for “social security cover, fair terms of employment, grievance redressal and dispute resolution”. The social security benefits to be provided by state and central governments would include health insurance, maternity benefits and old-age pensions.