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Societies 2017, 7(4), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc7040036

Empowering Domestic Workers: A Critical Analysis of the Belgian Service Voucher System

1
Department of Sociology, Interface Demography, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
2
Health Inequalities Research Group, Employment Conditions Knowledge Network (GREDS\Emconet), Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 17 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
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Abstract

Domestic cleaners lack bargaining power, which can prevent them from being in control of their work quality. The ‘service voucher system’ is expected to change the power position of domestics. This is expected because the system is formalized by the Belgian government and organized through a triangular employment relationship between the domestic, the service voucher company (the employer), and the customers. This study draws on 42 interviews with immigrant and native service voucher cleaners. It probes into how the employment relationship with the company affects the domestics’ perceived power to bargain with customers about determinants of the work quality. Based on the results, policy recommendations are made to further empower domestic cleaners in the relationship with their customers and to help them safeguard their work quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: Belgium; domestic work; immigration; formalization; service voucher system; the employment relations; the quality of work Belgium; domestic work; immigration; formalization; service voucher system; the employment relations; the quality of work
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Mousaid, S.; Bosmans, K.; Vanroelen, C. Empowering Domestic Workers: A Critical Analysis of the Belgian Service Voucher System. Societies 2017, 7, 36.

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