‘’I work as live-out domestic worker. I am a Nanny to 2 children and a housekeeper to a Family of 4. On March 13, I had my day-off but my employer told me not to go back to work anymore because she was afraid I could be a COVID19 carrier. I lost my work last March 13 I didn’t receive my salary on that week until the weeks of lockdown. I asked my employer to pay me but they never transfer money. Just on the beginning of lockdown, I have no food to eat already and no money to buy food and no money to top-up gas and electric. I am also very worried to be homeless because I couldn’t afford to pay my rent now that I’m jobless. I hope and pray this covid19 would be over soon that we all go back to normal life. I am grateful to The Voice of Domestic Workers who delivered me food and medicine (pictured above). VODW also transfer money of £50 to my account so I could top-up gas and electric. I also know that VODW will deliver food and transfer money again if this supply runs-out.’’ - LeeAnn, VODW member
Migrant Domestic Workers are household workforce, we are nannies to children, carers to the elderly, cleaners, cooks and drivers. We look after the families that make up our society. Each year, the Home Office issues over 19,000 Overseas Domestic Worker Visas. Because our life, work and status are very much dependent on employer’s support making us even more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Losing our jobs also means losing our living and often we are under threat of homelessness. Since the Government abolished the rights of overseas domestic workers in 2012, many employers abuse us because they know they can.
The lack of policy that protects us as workers have proven that we are also a major casualty of COVID-19. Employers can terminate us without notice and pay because many of us have become undocumented since the government did not reinstate our right to renew visas. Additionally, this includes the right to citizenship which The Voice of Domestic Workers continues to campaign to be reinstated. Prior to the lockdown, our members who are live-in domestic workers have reported that they have been stopped from going out, they complain of working without pay during when they are off-duty and are unpaid for longer hours of work because families are at home, children are not going to school, parents are working from home and elderly are also at home.
VODW member Diana told us, "My employer threatened me that if I go on my day-off, I shouldn’t come back to work anymore but I have to work on day-offs for free in exchange of food because they won’t give me food if I don’t." While the live-out domestic workers have also been stopped from going to the household workplace, their absence from their work is also an absence of their pay leaving them unable to cope for longer periods of time for their food and rent.
The Hardship Fund Appeal that our management team has set-up has been a big help to our members who have been affected by COVID-19.
To those who have donated to The Hardship Fund, we have a special message for you here:
For more COVID-19 testimonials, watch our videos here: