31 May 2013 08:00
WINDHOEK, 31 MAY (NAMPA) - The Domestic Workers? Wages Commission on Friday handed over its report to Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Doreen Sioka for Cabinet consultation.
The Commission was tasked to investigate, report and make recommendations on the minimum wages and conditions of employment of non-farm domestic workers in the country.
Speaking during the handing-over function, Chairperson of the Wages Commission on Domestic Workers, Dr Libertina Amathila said the team received written presentations from 390 employers and 1 121 employees, and conducted one-on-one interviews and public hearings to obtain views and opinions of employers, employees and ordinary citizens.
?In the process, the Commission discovered that both the employers and the employees lack the necessary understanding of the Labour Act,? she said.
Amathila noted that many domestic workers do not trust or have faith in labour organisations, and low levels of literacy among domestic workers deprive them the information about their rights.
The chairperson said the survey depicts that the majority of domestic workers earn between N.dollars 500 and N.dollars 900 per month.
Amathila further noted that the Commission's findings are correlating with those of the Namibian Labour Force Survey of 2012, in particular the levels of domestic workers' salaries.
She said the Commission made recommendations based on the prevailing legislative, social and economic situation the domestic workers find themselves in, and the need to uplift domestic workers from extreme poverty.
The recommendations are also based on the contribution of domestic work to the Namibian society; the ability of employers to pay; and the existing wage levels in other industries.
On her part, Sioka applauded the team for completing the report on time and taking it at heart that this is an important document for the purpose of contributing to the improvement of the lives of domestic workers and their families.
?I am really grateful that the document we have been waiting for is now here. This is an important document which every Namibian citizen was yearning for. This is another landmark event in our government's efforts to achieve a decent standard of living for our people as required by the Constitution,? said the minister.
Sioka said the report will be made public at a later stage, after she has gone through it in consultation with other Cabinet ministers.
The survey was conducted over a period of one year.
Other commissioners are Hilma Shindondola Mote from the Labour Resource and Research Institute (LaRRI) who represents the interests of registered trade unions; Women?s Action for Development (WAD) director Veronica de Klerk representing the interests of registered employers? organisations; the Media Ombudsman and legal practitioner Clement Daniels, and Uahatjiri Ngaujake, an economist and senior manager at the Social Security Commission (SSC).