UPDATED: Are all nannies and domestic workers able to return to work under Level 4 lockdown?


Updated 4pm 30 April 2020

When President Ramaphosa announced a gradual lifting of the Covid-19 national lockdown last week, many working parents sat on the edge of their seats, hoping that the regulations would now allow children to return to school and childminders to return to work.

Ramaphosa described Level 4 as a stage where some activity is "allowed to resume, subject to extreme precautions required to limit community transmission and outbreaks".

The new regulations allow various sectors to return to work (see the list here) but what gave many parents hope was the section relating to domestic support.

The need for childcare and support is however weighed against the fear of increased spread the novel coronavirus, and no family is taking this lightly. 

Many children are missing their caregivers, too, and are asking when things will go back to 'normal'. 

Parent24 approached Advocate Kaiél Grobler at LAW FOR ALL for insight, and he says it seems that some people can go back to work in private households.

"Under lockdown Level 4 regulations, it’s still necessary for South Africans to stay at home as much as possible," he told Parent24, but "they can, of course, leave to perform an essential or permitted service."

"According to the Level 4 regulations, only live-in staff and those who care for the sick, mentally ill, elderly, people with disabilities and children, may return to work in private households," he said. 

In this case many people have interpreted this to read that their childminders can return to work under Level 4, but not their domestic workers. 

See the regulations here

Workers performing an essential or permitted service, must be able to provide written confirmation of their employment and proof of I.D, if they are requested to by law enforcement.  

Download and print page 29 for Form 2 in Annexure A: Permit to Perform an Essential  or Permitted Service here

Grobler encourages employers to give their childminders a signed document confirming their personal details, their address, and contact information, as well as that of the employee.

"It’s also a good idea to give an employee a copy of their work contract, to keep as proof of their position and to confirm that they are indeed allowed to return to work in Level 4 lockdown," he told us.

A safe workplace

Grobler stressed that families must keep in mind that they as employers have a responsibility to create a safe workplace and to minimise the risk of exposure to Covid-19.

It’s important to keep in mind here, he explained, that Government wants to limit movement from one household to another to curb the spread of the virus.

He added that when we move to Level 3, even more workers will be allowed to return to work, and all domestic workers will return at Level 2.

It is still unclear as to when daycare's and early childhood development centres will open. 

Also read:

The lockdown is lifting but the pressure is still on for working moms

How lockdown has impacted childcare centres in South Africa

'I am going crazy!': Another mom shares how lockdown is affecting her family

Chat back:

Are you coping with the extended lockdown?

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Email: Share your story with us via email at chatback @ parent24.com

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