Employers of domestic workers seek to protect their interests
The Namibia Employers Federation (NEF) recently announced its plans to establish an organisation for employers of domestic workers.
According to Tim Parkhouse, secretary general of NEF, the proposal to establish the Employers of Domestic Workers of Namibia Organisation (EDWNO) stems from the need to represent the views of employers of domestic workers to government, regional councils, municipalities and other institutions.
The proposal comes after Namibia voted in favour of the International Labour Organisation adopted Convention189 and Recommendation 201 during 2011, aimed at guiding countries on the conditions of employment of domestic workers. One of the conditions stated in this document, is that domestic workers receive N$12.50 per hour.
Parkhouse said that even though “Namibia may not have a serious problem as many other countries, we believe it is right to ensure that we do not go down hill in this regard. But at the same time we also need to ensure that the rights of employers of domestic workers are not neglected.”
Vicki ya Toivo, special advisor to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, said that the Ministry welcome the plan to launch such an organisation.
“The establishment of an organisation of Employers of Domestic Workers will help Namibia achieve the objectives of Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic workers,” she said.
Once established, the organisation is set to act as a distinctive and focused voice on behalf of the employers and domestic workers, promote the use of contracts of employment as well as to promote good labour relations between employer and the domestic worker.
Membership will be open to any person in Namibia who employs on a regular basis one or more domestic workers for a minimum of one full day per week.
NEF has called upon employers of domestic workers to contact their offices and register their interest.
“Subject to the response an inaugural general meeting will be held. A council will also be elected and then the draft constitution will be finalised and approved and sent to the office of the labour commission for registration,” Parkhouse said.
Once established, NEF will be the facilitator of EDWNO.