Cape Verde Law Firm | Carla Monteiro & Associados - Housework Contract


Thursday, 26 May 2022

Housework Contract

Housework is considered to be that which is provided at the employer’s residence, to satisfy personal needs that, normally and permanently, are linked to the life of the employer and his household.

As a rule, they integrate the content of household chores:

  • House cleaning and tidying;
  • Cooking;
  • Clothes washing and treatment;
  • Surveillance and assistance for children and the elderly;
  • External tasks related to the previous ones;
  • Gardening;
  • Sewing;
  • Other similar ones, consecrated by the uses and customs;
  • Coordination and supervision of the aforementioned tasks.

However, the provision of the activities mentioned above in day care centers, rest homes, kindergartens, tourist exploration units, hotels and other units where those activities are carried out for profit is not considered housework.

The housework contract is justified by the fact that it is carried out not within the framework of a company, but within the family community.

Therefore, it is based on a personal relationship, so it is justified to establish specific rules, despite general rules.

The type of activity is the characterizing element, which is the satisfaction of the needs of the household, being the essence of the housework contract.

The worker is in a highly subordinate position, psychologically controlled not only by the employer, but also by other family members, who can give orders.

The work environment is confused with the family environment, there is an exposure of both in each one’s family life, with a marked collision of rights.

Trial Period

The parties to the housework contract cannot agree on a trial period of more than 30 days.


The housework schedule must be organized according to the needs of family life and the uses of the locality, so as not to harm the health of the worker.

Houseworkers must be guaranteed at least 8 hours of rest at night and adequate rest during the day.


The employer is prohibited from paying the houseworker solely for food and accommodation.

Cape Verde Law Firm | Carla Monteiro & Associados - Housework Contract

Weekly Rest

The weekly rest period may be transferred to another weekday or days, upon agreement of the parties.


It is, in particular, just cause for dismissal of the houseworker:

  1. Refusal to comply with hygiene or sanitary measures determined by the employer;
  2. Prolonged illness for more than 30 days;

Termination by the Worker

The infectious-contagious disease of people who normally live in the residence where the service is provided constitutes just cause for the worker to resign.

Duties of the houseworker

These are duties, among others:

  1. Respect the rules of family life of the employer and its family;
  2. Not to reveal any secret regarding the private life of the employer, its family, or any people who live with it in a common economy;
  3. Maintain relationships with other workers that do not harm domestic life;
  4. Comply with the safety and health requirements determined by the employer;
  5. Correctly use the equipment, utensils and products made available to them;
  6. Immediately notify the employer of any malfunctions and deficiencies relating to the equipment and utensils made available to them.

Duties of the Employer

These are duties, among others:

  1. Inform the worker about the operation and conservation of the equipment used in the performance of their tasks;
  2. Promote the repair of utensils and equipment whose malfunction may pose a risk to the safety and health of the worker;
  3. Ensure the identification of containers that contain products that present a degree of toxicity or may cause any type of injury and provide the necessary instructions for their proper use;
  4. Provide, if necessary, appropriate clothing and protective equipment, in order to prevent, as far as possible, the risks of accidents and/or harmful effects on the health of workers;
  5. Provide, when applicable, accommodation and food in conditions that safeguard the hygiene and health of workers;

The employer must transfer the responsibility for repairing damages resulting from an accident at work to entities legally authorized to take out this insurance.

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