Some domestic workers from disadvantaged backgrounds are not aware of their legal rights and are vulnerable to bad labour practices, the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) said on Monday.
Better protection for the rights of domestic workers was needed, deputy general secretary Gretchen Humphries said in a statement.
“A domestic worker’s job security is directly linked to that of his or her individual employer’s. If the employer is retrenched or suffers a downturn in business, the domestic worker may be the first luxury to be dispensed with,” she said.
Many domestic workers employed in South African homes are African women from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“Workers in this sector are often unaware of their legal rights and due to the nature of informal employment, vulnerable to abuse and bad labour practices.”
In South Africa, the minimum wage for a domestic worker working more than 27 hours a week in an urban area is R1 506 a month. In a non-urban area, it is R1 256 a month.
The federation said it was committed to facilitating skills training for domestic workers, and advocating for the implementation of a living wage rather than a minimum wage. — Sapa