LETTER: Wage fairness for domestics
The most abused of workers, the lockdown could be the time to register them so they can benefit from state funding
Dawie Jacobs (“Pay workers to stay home”, March 25) is absolutely correct: paying domestic staff through the lockdown it is not only fair and reasonable but also the moral thing to do. (Pay workers to stay at home, March 24).
Domestic workers are the most vulnerable tier of the employment pyramid, probably the most abused members of the workforce. Despite the national minimum wage, some are still earning well below the legal floor. Many domestic workers are not registered with the department of employment & labour and can’t even apply for unemployment insurance monies.
Every domestic worker has to be legally registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), and this lockdown period would be an opportunity to allow employers to come forward and pay back pay into the UIF to ensure their workers are properly covered.
I am getting desperate calls from many employers confessing that they have never registered their domestic workers. The UIF will gladly accommodate retrospective registration, and this much-needed lockdown gives everyone a real opportunity to rethink their responsibilities as employers and properly register each and every domestic worker.
Michael Bagraim, MP
DA deputy shadow employment & labour minister