Government to establish domestic servant service policy

Moses Asaga - Employment Minister

The Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare is to establish domestic workers service policy, to help in the monitoring of domestic work contracts and to improve their working conditions.

“Currently most of the domestic servants in the country are recruited on an ad-hoc basis by people who need their services and as a result of poor organisation some are used as domestic slaves affecting their condition of service and their fundamental human rights,” Mr Moses Asaga, Sector Minister noted.

Mr Asaga said this on Tuesday at a launch of a research report on wages and working conditions of private security workers in Ghana funded by the Friendrich-Ebert-Stiftung in partnership with the Ghana Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Accra.

He said the Ministry would do all it can to make sure that citizens rights and privileges are respected and ensured, adding that the research report would serve as policy guide for government.

Mr Prince Asafu-Adjaye, Researcher at the Labour Research and Policy Institute, said the nationwide research was done to examine the wages and working conditions of private security workers.

Mr Asafu-Adjaye noted that the choice of the private security industry was based on the fact that it has large contingent of young workers with limited human capital and vulnerable to labour right abuses.

He mentioned that the report shows that the industry is dominated by young to middle aged workers between 25 to 50 years with the average of 37 years adding that the survey also shows low levels of education among workers of the industry.

Mr Asafu-Adjaye said the report showed that average gross pay in the industry is GH¢150 which is dominated by young to middle aged workers between 25 to 50 years with an average of 37 years.

He observed that non-statutory benefits such as medical care, sub-subsidised meals or transport have become part of workers compensation in some enterprises stressing that some of these benefits have eluded the private security workers.

Mr Asafu-Adjaye said the level of unionisation in the private security industry is low and that 55 per cent of private security workers are either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their work.

He said the report recommended that security agencies improve pay levels of their workers to be able to attract and retain competent and dedicated workers and for government to enforce rules and regulations relating to the labour market.

Mr Asafu-Adjaye said the findings of the report challenge trade unions to do more to organise workers since it would help boost the sagging membership and improve the living conditions of workers and their families.

Mr Kofi Asamoah, Secretary General of TUC said the research report was undertaken as part of the efforts of the Congress to seek improvement in the living conditions of Ghanaian workers and their families and provide information on the labour market, which has been characterised by unavailability of up-to-date and accurate information.

He said for the past years TUC has been researching into the wages and working conditions of sectors that are dominated by young people who are vulnerable and subject to abuse by employers including the hotel and tourism sector and the media.

He noted that in all these sectors the story of systematic abuse of workers’ rights run through, adding that these workers are often employed on contract and temporary bases through labour brokers and agencies.

Mr Asamoah said the findings of the report should give the government and other stakeholder’s useful information for continued dialogue on improving the living conditions of workers and their families.

Source: GNA

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