Domestic workers minimum wage has been increased
20 April 2016
The minimum wage for domestic worker was introduced and implemented on the 1st of April 2015 after the Minister of Labor, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Erkki Nghimtina said that research has shown that 45% of approximately 46 000 domestic workers in Namibia earn below N$600 per month.
The 1st ever monthly minimum wage was set at N$1 218, which many domestic workers was very happy about, but not everyone could reap these benefits. Some employers felt they could not afford the minimum wage set by the government, which resulted in employers reducing the working days of domestic workers and paying them the hourly rate. Those who earned above the minimum wage were dismissed and replaced with someone who would work for less or their wages were reduced. This is unlawful, according to permanent secretary in the ministry of labor Bro Mathew Shinguadgja, and those who violate the law would be punished.
Exactly one year after the minimum wage for domestic workers was introduced the tariff was increased to N$1 353, 20 per month, an increase equivalent to the consumer price index plus five percent. Namibian Domestic and Allied Workers Union (NDAWU) leader Nellie Kahua stated to the New Era newspaper that she cannot definitely say whether she is happy or not with the increase because it is still below the basic cost of living.
Many domestic workers are still in the dark about the minimum wage and its increase and are still being paid N$600 mostly in the rural areas in Kavango Region where Kahua visited last year and spoke to the domestic workers. Some did not even know where to go if they were unfairly paid by their employers.
The new tariffs for payment of a domestic worker is as follows:
- N$1 353,20 per month;
- N$312.,30 per week;
- N$62,45 per day ; or
- N$7.80 per hour
In addition domestic workers must be provided with the cost of a round trip by public transport, or transport must be provided to them, without any deductions on their wages. They are also entitled to leave days. The employer is, however, able to determine when leave is to be taken, as per the labor act.