WINDHOEK, 13 JUN – The Government has been urged to ratify resolutions of the 2011 Domestic Workers’ Conference of the International Labour Office (ILO), which has left workers exposed to exploitation and violence in the workplace.
This is according to the Namibia Domestic Workers and Allied Workers Union (Ndawu).
Ndawu’s Secretary General (SG) Nelie Kahua said at a media conference on Wednesday they have been “left out” over the last six years.
“The government’s decision (to) delay ratifying this convention concerning decent work for domestic workers until 2024/25, another six years, is deeply disappointing and unacceptable,” Kahua said.
She asked the government to restore the rights of domestic workers by ratifying the convention.
The 2011 ILO conference, which Namibia is party to, was attended by 183 countries and made several recommendations which detailed how domestic workers should be treated.
It covered matters relating to remuneration and benefits for domestic workers such as social security, basic rights, occupational safety and working hours.
The convention amongst others recommended that domestic workers should have rest of 24 consecutive hours each week.
Moreover, there should be a minimum wage for domestic workers, if such exists for employees in other sectors in a given country.
“Payment of wages must be paid in cash, directly to the worker, and at a regular interval of no longer than one month,” reads Article 11 of the Convention No.189 of 2011.
To ratify a convention means the government of a given country makes a formal commitment to implement all of the obligations provided by the said convention.
Kahua also said domestic workers around the world face an avalanche of challenges.
These include gender-based violence (sexual and domestic), harassment, discrimination and exploitation.