Domestic workers : Are they getting a raw deal from their employers and government at large?

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Kapambwe, Margaret
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Every worker, despite his Une of work or industry, be it domestic or office work is entitled to a fair remuneration and good conditions of service.In this day and age where the worker is at the mercy of the employer, a situation most exploited by the employer in awarding wages, it is imperative that workers are educated on their rights if effective protection of the workers is to be realized.Conditions of service should no longer remain purely in the employers' determination but should be a matter of law and human rights. Whatever is called a human being has human rights. Consequently, a domestic worker by virtue of being human is endowed with human rights and freedoms which should be observed, protected and upheld. A domestic worker therefore, is one who carrying his human rights as a person joins employment and should acquire other rights by virtue of the contract of employment. It can not be said that at the time he or she joins employment, he loses his human rights because he has not lost his humanity, the basis of human rights. Thus, he or she should be allowed to demand for better conditions of service basing his or her arguments on the fact that he is first and foremost a human being despite being a domestic worker who should be assured of a fair living wage to secure for him and his family a decent living. This is very cardinal for him as it not only helps him/her to have his needs satisfied but will also ensure that he puts in his/her best performance.It should be realized that domestic workers are human beings and like their employers, they too need to have a decent living. They do not sell their labour in order to be exploited but to earn a decent living. There should therefore be certain mechanisms put in place to ensure that domestic workers are treated humanely and receive their rightful and just dues. Any employer who pays his/her workers less than they need to afford essentials of life is violating their human rights.It is sincerely hoped that this work will contribute to the labour struggles for the betterment of the Zambian domestic worker.
Household employees --Zambia