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Durham University

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Publication details for Professor Deirdre McCann

McCann, Deirdre & Murray, Jill (2010). The Legal Regulation of Working Time in Domestic Work. Geneva, International Labour Organization.

Author(s) from Durham


Domestic work is the subject of a standard-setting process within the International
Labour Organization (ILO) that is expected to generate international legal instruments in
2011. The ILO‘s initial report as part of this process sought ―particular guidance on
identifying, limiting and appropriately calculating working time‖ for domestic workers
(ILO, 2009). The present study addresses this dimension of domestic work. Its goal is to
examine and suggest potential frameworks for the regulation of working time. The study
proposes regulatory techniques, which are outlined in a Model Law set out in the annex to
the study. The study‘s ―framed flexibility‖ approach to working time regulation is based on
the needs and vulnerabilities of domestic workers and the particular nature of the demand
for their labour by employers and clients. This model is based on a recognition that
working time laws must address key areas in which decent work is likely to be threatened,
as well as providing the necessary flexibility for domestic workers to provide a vital
service to the family home.