Domestic Workers: Contracts and Notice
In terms of the Labour Relations (Domestic Workers) Employment Regulations, a domestic worker is:
A person employed in any private household to render services as a yard/garden worker, cook/housekeeper, child minder or disabled/aged (person) minder, irrespective of whether of not the place of employment is in an urban or rural area.
On engaging a domestic worker, the employer is required to inform the domestic worker in writing of the nature of her/his contract including:
- His/her grade
- His/her rate of pay and when it will be paid
- The free use of water for normal domestic use
- The period of notice required to terminate the contract of employment
- The hours of work
- Details of any bonus, accommodation, transport and lights allowances
- Sickness benefits
- Vacation leave
- Subject to the Termination of Employment Regulations (SI 15 of 2006), every contract of employment shall provide an equal period of notice to terminate the contact to be given by either party. This period shall not be less than the time interval between one due pay day and the next.
- If a month’s notice has been agreed to, it runs from the first day of the month following the date on which notice is given. However, it shall not be necessary for a domestic worker to give notice where she/he is unable to do so owing to any emergency or compelling necessity.
- No employer shall give notice of termination of employment to a domestic worker while the domestic worker is on sick leave. However , if the domestic worker has been certified unfit for work by a medical practitioner for a total of more than 26 working days in any one year of service, the employer is entitled to terminate the contract of employment subject to the approval of the Minister of Labour.
- Neither the domestic worker nor her/his employer may give notice of termination of employment while the domestic worker is on vacation leave.
- A domestic worker who has given or received notice of termination of employment may not go on vacation leave during the period of notice except by mutual agreement in writing.
- Both employer and domestic worker may terminate the employment summarily on grounds recognised by law as justifying summary termination of employment.
Find out more about the ILO and Domestic Workers.