Policy Document on Decent Work for domestic workers out soon
Government has established a Task Force to develop a Draft National Policy Document on Decent Work for domestic workers.
The Policy aims at effectively managing and regulating the activities of stakeholders under terms and conditions, domestic abuse and minimum wage among others.
Mr Enoch Teye Mensah, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, made this known at a workshop on Decent Work for Domestic Workers in Accra on Friday.
He said the new International Labour Standards provided for fair terms of employment, including minimum wage, effective protection against all forms of abuse and harassment and protection of worker’s right to privacy.
In addition, conditions of work should not be less favourable than those in the formal sector.
He noted that domestic work was not a recent phenomenon in the country but both rural and urban households across a wide socio-economic spectrum utilised the services of domestic workers.
He attributed the cause of domestic work largely to urbanisation and working outside the home.
Mr Mensah said the changing nature of family arrangement could bring pressure on families to provide a strong rationale to seek help from domestic workers.
“Despite their sheer numbers, domestic workers constitute an invisible workforce mainly women, disadvantaged ethnic groups or migrant workers who work in private households behind closed doors,” he added.
He explained that the enforcement of the Labour Law has been more difficult due to the location of domestic work mostly within private homes.
Mr Mensah said; “In spite of the legal and institutional framework for domestic workers in the country, the Labour Law as it currently exists does not provide adequately for workers in the informal economy in general and domestic workers in particular”.
Mrs Lucy Phyllis Addipah, Acting National Coordinator of International Union of Food (IUF), in charge of Agriculture, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, obacca and Allied Worker’s Association, said the union was embarking on a campaign for a convention for the respect and right for domestic and household workers.
She said; “Domestic workers work hard to feed families but are not included in labour legislation and social protection schemes and needed to be worked out of poverty. Their work is hardly valued and poorly paid”.
Mrs Addipah said the objective of the campaign was to increase women negotiation skills for better working conditions and income, improve the knowledge on the rights of women in national and international instruments and create awareness on violence against women.
It would also build the capacity of women, men and the youth on gender concepts and promote the ratification and implementation of International Labour Organisation Conventions that were relevant to women.
“Getting an international convention that sets out domestic workers labour rights would be an important step towards getting more governments to recognise them in national employment laws and social protection schemes,” Mrs Addipah added.