Wages, Annual Leave and Overtime
The Ministry of Labour and Social Security recently announced the new Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment for protected employees in 2011. The Statutory Instruments numbers 1 and 2 of 2011 replaced those in Statutory Instruments numbers 56 and 57 of 2006 for shop workers and general application, respectively.
First regulations for the Domestic Service Sector
As part of this, and for the first time ever, the ministry has developed regulations to administer the determination of wages to cover the Domestic Service Sector.
Some of the significant features in the new instrument include: the minimum wage, hours of work, separation packages and transport allowance.
According to Labour Minister Austin Liato, domestic workers were among the most exploited and abused workers in the country.
“Because of the private nature of the workplaces that they operate from, they usually experience various forms of injustice that include physical, psychological and sexual abuse.”
Who is a domestic worker?
According to the Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment (Domestic Workers) order, 2010, a domestic worker includes: (A) a person who takes care of a child, an aged person, a sick person, a frail person or a person with disability, within a household; and (B) a gardener.
What is the minimum wage for a domestic worker?
The minimum wage for such a worker, excluding any amount paid in lieu of rations, shall not be less than K250, 000 per month.
However, where prior to the commencement of this order, a domestic worker was in receipt of a wage in excess of the minimum wage, the domestic worker shall on the date of commencement of this order, retain the wage.
When should an employee expect his/her salary?
The wages of a domestic worker shall be paid at regular intervals not being later than five days after the date on which the wages fall due as follows:
- The wages will fall due from month to month, on the last day of each month, in the case of a monthly paid domestic worker.
- In the case of a domestic worker who is employed to perform a task or piece work, wages will fall due on the completion of such task or work.
What are the hours of work?
The normal weekly working hours for a domestic worker shall not exceed forty-eight hours.
What about overtime?
An employee who works in excess of the prescribed hours of work shall be paid, for each hour of work, at one and half times the domestic worker’s hourly rate of pay.
A worker who works on a paid public holiday or on a Sunday where a Sunday does not form part of the normal working week shall be paid, for each hour of work, at double the domestic worker’s hourly rate of pay.
But provided that where a domestic worker is required to work in excess of the prescribed period of hours of work, the employer may agree with the domestic worker to pay the employee an overtime allowance, or grant them time off in lieu of overtime allowance.
When is a domestic worker eligible for annual leave?
An employer shall grant to a domestic worker leave of absence on full pay to a domestic worker of not less than two days per month, subject to, and in accordance with, the following conditions:
Except on termination of domestic worker’s service, the employee shall be entitled to leave only on the completion of six month’s continuous service with that employer.
Paid public holidays and Sundays shall not be included when computing the period of leave
The employer shall have the right to give reasonable consideration to the exigencies and interests of the household in agreeing to the dates when such leave may be taken.