By Staff Reporter
A member of the Socialist Party says the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions should consider studying the enforcement of the minimum wage law for domestic workers despite this group of workers probably not being their members.
Francisco Mumba, who contested as a member of parliament in the Eastern
Province’s Malambo Constituency in the 2016 general elections, says the unions mother body should conduct a study on the impact of minimum wage among Zambia’s domestic workers.
“Recently, Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) raised a red flag over what it termed rampant casualization in the private media industry. Whilst this makes sad reading the Union mother body should have not ended at releasing a statement but further press a demand for the practice to stop rather than wait until a study was conducted,” Mumba noted in a social media press statement. “ZCTU should also conduct a study on the impact of minimum wage on Zambia’s domestic workers. The minimum wage and conditions of employment statutory instruments no.1,2 and 3 are progressive on this category of employees who have had no voice, but there is need to evaluate the impact of this law on their employment status.”
He further noted that while the law was categorical on a flat figure of K522.40, what remains unclear were the conditions of service accompanying the wages.
“Conditions are particularly important because they provide for the environment to achieve or not. Unscrupulous employers have taken advantage of the ignorance in this industry. The flat figure is a derivative of 48 hrs rather than 40 hrs in a week, which in my view is highly discriminatory,” Mumba said. “This translates into 8hrs in a day running from Monday to Saturday! The minimum wages and conditions lacks monitoring and enforcement mechanisms. A law is useless if it cannot be enforced. Whilst, there are various mechanisms to monitor and subsequently bring to book those breaking the law, very little has been brought to ‘light’ because the scribes are equally fighting their own battles ‘casualisation’.”
He urged ZCTU to go a step further and protect this category of employees.