DA launches plan for domestics
Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance revealed a plan to expand the rights of domestic workers on Wednesday.
"In our current labour dispensation, domestic workers are not afforded the same rights as other workers," DA spokesperson Ian Ollis told reporters at Parliament.
Domestic workers did not have the same level of protection when they were sick or injured, he said.
They were also not covered by the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) convention on domestic work.
The DA had formulated a comprehensive action plan to expand the rights of domestic workers.
"We will take this plan to Parliament and put pressure on the national government to implement it as soon as possible," Ollis said.
The plan included expanding Compensation Fund (CF) coverage to include domestic workers, and ratifying the ILO convention on domestic work in Parliament.
The DA would drive an information campaign via the CF and the labour department to inform domestic workers and their employers of their rights.
Domestic workers were treated as second-class citizens by the labour dispensation, Ollis said.
If other workers became injured or disabled at work, they were protected by the CF and received pension payouts to compensate for losses in income.
"Besides members of the SA National Defence Force and the SA Police Services [who have their own fund], domestic workers are the only category of workers excluded from the Compensation Fund's coverage," he said.
To remedy this, the DA would submit a private member's bill to amend the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act to expand the CF's coverage to include domestic workers.
The implications for domestic workers would be profound.
It would mean that whenever a domestic worker became injured or disabled because of work they would be eligible for compensation.
This would relate to medical expenses, compensation for loss of income, and potential punitive damages if employers were negligent or knowingly complicit in any injuries to domestic workers.
"And it won't be expensive," Ollis said.
Contributions to the CF were made by employers on a monthly basis.