Questioning the effectiveness of the social protection mandatory regulations for maids in Ecuador

Maids in Ecuador represent one of the sectors that suffer from low income and poor social security. In 2008, a new regulation was implemented, mandating maids’ enrollment in social security. Visits control of households kicked off in 2010, ensuring thus compliance by household employers. A minimum wage was also imposed to ensure a better social protection of maids.

Although such policies appear advantageous, at first glance, for maids in Ecuador; they remain questionable.

Sara Wong (Polytechnic University – ESPOL) argues that this social protection policy resulted in a decrease not only of the number of maids working without social insurance, but also in the number of maids employed.

At the GDN 14th Annual Conference, Wong proposed a different angle to look into the effectiveness the Ecuadorian mandatory regulations for maids, to see whether the compulsory requirements of the mandatory minimum wage and social security coverage have had a negative impact on maids’ employment. The research proposal aims to provide complementary policies ensuring social protection benefits for maids in Ecuador.

According to Wong, the urgency of the problem lies in the fact that the government seeks to replicate the mandatory regulations to other labor market groups regardless of the negative impact the current policy may have had on the intended beneficiaries.

By providing evidence on the negative effect coupled with social protection mandatory regulations for maids in Ecuador, Wong aims to provide recommendations on how to overcome the current unintended negative effects. Moreover, she seeks to draw policy lessons that may help other developing countries, which seek to ensure a better social protection for the maids sector, setting up similar but more effective policies.

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