Johannesburg - The domestic worker sector is faced with numerous challenges pertaining to high levels of non-compliance.
The Department of Employment and Labour in Gauteng is set to engage with domestic workers on issues of compliance with labour laws in the domestic sector, today in Pretoria. Gauteng Provincial Chief Inspector, Advocate Msiza said based on the recent inspections conducted in the province, the sector is faced with numerous challenges pertaining to high levels of non-compliance, particularly, with the Basic Condition of Employment Act (BCEA), the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), the Unemployment Insurance Act (UIA) and the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA).
“During the inspections, we were shocked to find that employers do not comply at all. It is for this reason that we saw it fit to engage the main role players in the sector, being employees. Our intention is to inform, educate, empower and advise domestic workers on their rights and responsibilities in relation to their health and safety at their workplaces,” Msiza said.
The department added that this discovery led to an understanding that in order to realise decent working conditions for domestic workers, effective advocacy campaigns must take place regularly, consistent inspections undertaken and rigid enforcement processes imposed.
“The trajectory of conditions of employment for domestic workers in South Africa changed in 2020 following the case of Mahlangu v Minister of Labour, wherein the Constitutional Court declared the constitutional invalidity of section 1(xix)(v) of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 130 of 1993. This section excluded domestic workers employed in private households from the definition of ‘employee' thus precluding them from claiming benefits for work-related injuries, illness or death,” Msiza added.
Today’s session is one of many to come throughout the province and the department hopes to strengthen the existing partnership with unions and other organisations in the domestic sector as well as attend to and prevent labour disputes and reduce workplace incidents in private households.