Raised minimum wage poses job security risk to domestic workers, warns CAPIZ

Christians Against Poverty in Zambia (CAPIZ) president Gregory Chileshe has warned that a 100 per cent increment in minimum wage for domestic workers will pose a job security risk, as their employers’ salaries have remained stagnant.

Government has increased by almost double the minimum wages for workers not represented by trade unions, implying that wages for domestic workers have been revised from K522.4 to K993.60 per month with transport allowance inclusive.

Labour and Social Security Minister Joyce Nonde Simukoko also announced last week that following a consultative process, the highest grade earner under this category would be getting K3, 558.9 effect September 10, 2018.

But in a statement availed to News Diggers, Tuesday, Evangelist Chileshe feared some employers of domestic worker, like lowly paid civil servants, may not afford to keep domestic workers.

“A 100 per cent increment of minimum wage for domestic workers known as house servants is a very good move, but do not risk the jobs of these servants and maid servants or house cleaners or house keepers; whatever you may call them, by indirectly increasing their salaries or wages when you have not increased your civil servants’ salaries first. You also have your servants known as civil servants. How can you jump to other people’s servants you did not employ? You have your own servants; increase their salaries and allowances first before you go down to help their servants you did not even employ in the name of protecting them. Does government even know that rentals have gone up due to withholding tax?” Evangelist Chileshe wondered.

“Secondly, you also have ignored helping workers outside government, the private sector. Have you carried out a survey to ascertain if their companies or employers have increased their salaries and allowances? Have you applied the sector minimum wage across the board? Make sure no servant or domestic worker is fired as a result, otherwise this will backfire, protect them.”

Evangelist Chileshe further feared that some domestic workers would face hasher treatment from their employers on account of increased wages.

“And the Labour Minister should not even celebrate that there is any achievement; there is danger there. Domestic Workers will be punished, and maybe treated harshly and used like dogs due to frustration of current economic conditions, like a 50,50 affair now. Will government be there? So increase your people’s salaries also to cushion, they are facing a lot of taxes,” said Evangelist Chileshe.

         

Mirriam Chabala

About Mirriam Chabala

Mirriam Chabala is a Zambian journalist who covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news

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