Minimum wages survey for domestic workers planned

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Windhoek

The secretary general of the Trade Union of Namibia (TUCNA), Mahongora Kavihuha, yesterday said plans are afoot to conduct a survey that will determine if employers of domestic workers are adhering to the minimum wage.
The minimum wage for domestic workers was effected on April 1 this year, following years of exploitation of workers by their employers.

Unconfirmed claims are that some domestic workers who earned wages above the minimum wage have lost their jobs with the introduction of the N$1 218 minimum amount, as some employers that were paying more are saying government says the workers should be paid N$1 218.

Kavihuha said in a telephonic interview yesterday there are no official reports on whether employers are adhering to the minimum wage since its introduction.

However, Kavihuha was quick to point out that incidents of employers firing their domestic workers continue unabated.

“The employees are fired based on allegations of theft and dishonesty,” he said. Kavihuha said the union would have a clear idea on when the survey would be conducted by early next year and issues of domestic and migrant workers will be the first priority of the union’s activities next year.

He added that the survey would determine if the minimum wage has brought meaningful improvements to the livelihoods of domestic workers “which is long overdue”.

“As a trade union we want social security to come up with a clear survey to determine how many domestic workers are registered for social security,” said Kavihuha, who said this is in accordance with International Labour Organisation recommendations. The recommendations, Kavihuha added, request the formalisation of the informal sector in which domestic workers fall.

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