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Organisation for Undocumented Workers

Domestic Worker

The following rules apply to ALL DOMESTIC WORKERS, even if you don’t have a regular residence

A domestic worker (dienstbode/travailleur domestique) is an employee who works for an individual (not for an enterprise). He or she performs manual household tasks in a private house in exchange for a salary.

 Some examples of a domestic workers’ tasks are:

  • Cleaning
  • Ironing
  • Cooking
  • Etc.


How much do you have to earn?

Your wage as a domestic worker depends on your previous experience and the number of hours you work per week. This table shows you how much you should earn per hour or month (if you work 38hrs/week)



per hour

per month




6 months



12 months










Can a part of my wage be 'paid in kind'?

Yes, but:

  • It must be stipulated in writing. If you don’t have a written contract, your employer can’t deduct anything as ‘payment in kind’.
  • It must be communicated at the moment of hiring
  • The employer cannot pursue profits
  • The cost of gas, electricity, water and heating must be calculated at the real market price

The law also stipulates fixed amounts per day to be deducted as ‘payment in kind’:

  • Meals: Breakfast: €0,55, Lunch or your main meal: €1,09, Dinner: €0,84
  • Accommodation (the use of a bedroom): €0,74


Work clothes and tools

Tools, work clothes and all required resources (and maintenance) must be provided by your employer so you can do your job properly.


Transportation costs

If you use public transport to go to work or to perform your duties, it’s your employer who pays 100% of the expenses.  

Remember! Neither the required resources or tools nor the transportation expenses can be deducted from your wage as ‘payment in kind’.


 Social Security

Social security is a system to secure your income in different situations like when you’re sick, pensioned or unemployed.

As from 1 October 2014, EVERY domestic worker with regular residence must be registered in the social security system.

Attention!:  If you are an undocumented domestic worker you won’t be able to be registered in the social security, however your employer has to take out an insurance policy for you, protecting you against work-related accidents.


 How many hours per week can you work?

As a domestic worker, you shouldn’t work more than 38 hours per week.  So, if your weekly working hours exceed this maximum, you will receive a certain number of compensation days, depending on the number of hours you have worked per week. You cannot exceed the maximum of 40 hours per week ever.

It’s also important to know that you can only work one Sunday out of four. And when you work on a Sunday you have to get a day off as compensation within the next six days.


Vacation and Public Holidays

Every domestic worker has right to paid vacation, starting from the second year of work. Its duration depends on the number of days (and hours) you’ve effectively worked during the whole past year.

As a domestic worker you’re free during the 10 public holidays. If you have to, you can only work on three of these holidays and you have to receive a day off as compensation within six days following the holiday.


What if I get sick?

During this time you’ve got the right to receive compensation, which is paid by your employer and the mutuality. If you don’t have a regular residence, you won’t be able to become a member of a mutuality, but you still have the right to compensation from your employer.

 If you want to receive compensation, you will need to present a medical certificate. Don’t forget to ask for it when you go to your consultation, even if you are undocumented.


Do you need help?
  • If your employer doesn’t respect your labour rights or you want more information, click here: Helpdesk


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