The Council of Europe is committed to the observance of the right to just conditions of work, as set out in article 2 of the Revised European Social Charter and in article 1 of the Protocol no. 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights that provides for “the enjoyment of any right set forth by law without discrimination on any ground”.
The Parliamentary Assembly has expressed concern as regards the discrimination that female workers from Eastern Europe working as household help are facing in some Western European countries.
Unfortunately sometimes there is no clear domestic legal framework to regulate their employment conditions. In those cases, their rights and the European laws on human rights are virtually trampled underfoot. The situation of those women is desperate since they do not manage to have a normal life like any other woman employee. Often, they work seven days a week without clear time off.
In this respect, the Assembly finds that the above situation represents a breach of art. 2 para 1 and 5 of the Revised European Social Charter that guarantees “reasonably daily and weekly working hours, as well as a weekly rest period which shall correspond as far as possible with the day of week recognized as a rest day by tradition or custom or to provide for another day of rest during a week.”
Bearing in mind that every citizen shall be entitled to full and effective equality, as a core value of the Council of Europe, the Assembly resolves to investigate on how these rights are implemented and to urge the national parliaments of Council of Europe member States to change their relevant legislation with a view to ensuring the respect of the right to just conditions of work for this vulnerable group of workers.