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WE HAVE Secretary’s Day and Boss’s Day, and we need a Domestic Worker’s Day.
This is according to industrial psychology graduate Sizile Makola, who launched Domestic Worker’s Day on Facebook and Twitter yesterday.
Makola runs a business called My Claim Mate that provides human resources services for employers of domestic workers.
The company registers domestic workers with the Unemployment Insurance Fund and helps employers ensure that they are compliant with the law.
Makola, who has teamed up with the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers’ Union (Sadsawu), says South Africans need to acknowledge the value of domestic workers.
She says Domestic Worker’s Day will help raise awareness of the work that domestic workers do.
“These are the people we entrust with our homes and our children, but who are often invisible. In the same way that annually we recognise the work of secretaries, I believe we should do the same for domestic workers,” says the 35-year-old.
Makola says she can’t function optimally without her helper.
“She gives me the freedom and security to run my business knowing that my kids and home are well cared for,” says the mother of two.
Hence, her wanting employers to show appreciation for their domestic workers and to consciously realise how valuable they are.
“Employers should also realise that they need to be responsible and compliant with the relevant employment laws. We want domestic workers to realise their own value and contribution they make in our homes and economy,” she says.
Makola adds that many domestic workers do not even enjoy the basic low level of protection provided by employment laws.
“Their workplace is a private home, and the relationship between worker and employer is very unbalanced in terms of power.”
She wants people who employ domestic workers to show appreciation for their employees by posting on Facebook and Twitter.
“There is a badge that we want people to use on Facebook and Twitter to show their support. People will be able to choose a badge in their colour of choice to automatically post on their Facebook page to show support.”
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