Code of Conduct for Employers of Domestic Workers
The Zambia Federation of Employers recently launched a Code of Conduct for Employers of Domestic workers. To know your workers rights, read more:
Minimum age for domestic workers
No child under the age of 15 should be employed in domestic work although a young person between the age of 15 and 18 years may be employed in light work.
Hours of work
No young person shall perform work exceeding four hours a day. For adults, it is recommended that a domestic worker shall not exceed 48 normal hours of work per week and shall be paid overtime for any extra hours performed.
An employment agreement/contract should be drawn up prior to the start of employment. The contract, a mutual agreement between the employer and the worker, shall specify terms and conditions of work, such as salary, rest days, medical benefits, scope of duties and other terms.
A domestic worker shall be eligible to take leave after six months of continuous service. This is after accruing two days paid leave for every month worked.
If a domestic worker is sick, a signed medical certificate by a registered medical officer should be produced stating how long the person can be exempted from work. In the case of prolonged illness, the domestic worker shall be entitled to one month of sick leave with full pay after which the employer of the domestic worker may agree to extend the sick leave, or discharge the worker on medical discharge and pay the domestic worker the entitlement.
If the domestic worker has worked for two years continuous service, she is entitled to one hundred and twenty calendar days unpaid maternity leave plus applicable leave days or payment in lieu of leave.
Protection against abuse
An employer of a domestic worker shall not subject or allow the employee to be subjected to any abuse, either, physical, psychological, sexual or verbal in the work environment.
Safe and healthy work conditions
It is the responsibility of the employer of the domestic worker to ensure that the domestic worker performs work in a safe environment.
The employer of a domestic worker shall maintain a record of all salary payments made to the domestic worker, obtain their acknowledgement in writing for the amount received and be able to produce this record at the request of a proper officer.
The employer shall clearly state at the start of employment any deductions that will be taken from the domestic worker’s salary, and ensure this is stated on the monthly payslips in line with section 45 of the Employment Act.
In an event of death of a domestic worker, spouse or child, the employer to the domestic worker may provide a funeral grant.
Notice of termination
If the domestic worker has worked for less than six months, 24 hours notice must be given by either party. After six months, one month notice should be given, or payment in lieu of notice to either party. If the employment contract is terminated due to illness or accident, not occasioned by their own fault, the employer should pay for repatriation.
The employer should also ensure that any outstanding wages and claim for compensation have been settled with the domestic worker before the domestic worker leaves.
Napsa to be included and enforced by the mandated institution
All employers should register their employees and contribute to the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA).
The employer of a domestic worker is recommended not to hold onto the original National Registration Card/ identity/ travel documents of the domestic worker, unless photocopies.