Govt announces new wages for domestic workers

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

GOVERNMENT has moved to increase wages for domestic workers.

The new wages are with immediate effect.

Transport allowances for domestic workers who commute to and from their places of employment have also been reviewed upwards.

“Cabinet agreed to review minimum wages per month of domestic workers without industrial employment council in what are commonly termed as unclassified operations,” acting Information Minister Kazembe Kazembe told a post-cabinet media briefing in Harare Tuesday.

“The minimum wage for a gardener will be $160.00, minimum wage for a housekeeper 168.48, minimum wage for a child minder $179.00, disabled minder with a Red Cross certificate or equivalent will be 189.70,” he said.

“Workers in unclassified operations, it will be $330.”

Cabinet further approved rates for domestic workers who are not accommodated in their places of work.

“Accommodation for standard one room $60, transport based on ZUPCO fares is $50, fuel for cooking is $20, lighting $10 and water $10.00,” he said.

“Employers should know that these are minimum wages and that they are most encouraged to raise them taking into account circumstances of their workers.”

Since domestic workers do not have a national employment council, the law empowers the labour minister to set up a Wage and Salaries Advisory Board to negotiate with the Domestic Workers and Allied Workers Union and recommend the figures to government.

Before the wage review, gardeners were taking home as little as $85 per month or a weekly wage of $29.60.

A cook or housekeeper earned $90 per month or $20.79 per week.

Domestic workers looking for disabled and the aged people were taking home ZW$95 per month or $21.94 per week.