Middle English, from Anglo-French, from present participle of servir. In modern French only the feminine servante has survived in this sense. In Old French the present participle had the same form in both genders; hence the English word has always been applied both to males and females, without any distinction of form.
- 1: one that serves others <a public servant>; especially
- 2: one that performs duties about the person or home of a master or personal employer
A domestic worker is someone who works within the employer's household. Domestic workers perform a variety of household services for an individual or a family, from providing care for children and elderly dependents to cleaning and household maintenance, known as housekeeping. Responsibilities may also include cooking, doing laundry and ironing, food shopping and other household errands. Some domestic workers live within the household where they work.
The conditions faced by domestic workers have varied considerably throughout history and in the contemporary world. In the course of twentieth-century movements for labour rights, women's rights and immigrant rights, the conditions faced by domestic workers and the problems specific to their class of employment have come to the force. In 2011, the International Labour Organization adopted the Convention on domestic workers which covers decent work conditions for domestic workers.