Employment and Labour’s IES hosts a Domestic Worker’s Sector Seminar, 21 Feb

Department of Employment and Labour’s IES hosts a Domestic Worker’s Sector Seminar

The Department of Employment and Labour’s Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES) branch will host a one-day seminar to reflect on the advances made to improve the working conditions of domestic workers.

Of particular focus will be the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Act. The seminar comes on the back of an announcement by Employment and Labour Minister, TW Nxesi, that the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for each ordinary hour worked had been increased from R21,69 to R23.19 for the year 2022 with effect from 01 March 2022.

Of historic importance is that the National Minimum Wage for Domestic Workers has for the first time fallen in line with other sectors. Furthermore, domestic workers can now be registered as employees with the Compensation Fund against injuries on duty.

It is now more than ten years since the International Labour Organization (ILO) adopted the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189). The intention of the convention is to make decent work a reality for domestic workers.

The ILO’s decent work agenda sums up the aspirations of people in their working lives. It involves opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men.

The seminar is part of the department’s IES branch to educate stakeholders on labour laws and ensure compliance. The Domestic Worker’s Sector has long been identified as a problematic sector when it comes to compliance with labour laws, with workers still paid lower wages.

The Department of Employment and Labour has conducted several inspections of employers operating in the sector. The inspections were to determine the employers’ compliance with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, enforcement of the National Minimum Wage Act – and employers are still found wanting when it comes to compliance.

The outcome of inspections has indicated a need for an advocacy session. Some of the areas where non-compliance is identified in the sector include unlawful deductions; underpayment of national minimum wage; non-compliant written particulars of employment (contracts); long hours of work and non-registration to the Unemployment Insurance Fund and Compensation for Occupation Injuries and Diseases Act.

Some of the stakeholders targeted by the seminar include: domestic workers, gardeners, trade unions, organised business, employer organisations, organised labour and bargaining councils.

The media is invited to attend and cover the seminar.

Source: Government of South Africa