Khunou Tekie 31AUG MGOn 31 August 2021, the Mail & Guardian published an op-ed written by SERI's Kelebogile Khunou and Izwi's Domestic Worker Alliance's Amy Tekie entitled, "Employers should respect women’s rights and provide domestic workers with employment contracts". The op-ed discusses the main reasons for domestic worker employers' failure to comply with labour law. Khunou and Tekie argue that this is because employers still view domestic work as an informal arrangement between two individuals, rather than a form of employment regulated by labour laws and that domestic work is perceived as “unskilled work” involving household activities like cooking, cleaning and child-rearing, traditionally performed by women.

They write that "a critical step in overcoming South Africa’s race and class divide is to stop treating domestic workers as household servants. This shift begins with the actions of each employer, and with genuine effort from the state to enforce domestic workers’ hard-won rights."

The Socio-Economic Rights Institute and the Izwi Domestic Workers’ Alliance have created a guide to assist employers of domestic workers to manage the employment relationship. It includes detailed information on terms of employment (such as working hours, wages and leave), UIF and the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) requirements, guidelines for maintaining a healthy employment relationship and templates for contracts and payslips. The guide also gives information about performance reviews, disciplinary procedures and dismissal processes, and assists employers to handle difficult situations by providing answers to frequently asked questions.

  • Read the full op-ed here.
  • Download the Employers' guide here.
  • Download the Domestic Workers' guide here.