Can I hire a teacher to care for my kids at home during lockdown Level 4?

"The Level 4 Regulations are quite clear when it comes to Domestic Workers in private households"
"The Level 4 Regulations are quite clear when it comes to Domestic Workers in private households"

As the lockdown drags on and parents become increasingly desperate as they juggle work and home and schooling, some are looking for loopholes in the latest regulations. 

Parent24 has received mails and messages from parents asking if they can employ a teacher or tutor as a childminder, to care for the kids and also carry on with schooling.

A parent asked if they could employ their daycare teacher to watch their kids at their home, another told us her complex wouldn't allow her kids tutor to work under Level 4 lockdown regulations. Others asked if they could employ a school teacher to watch their kids during the day. 

While we understand the sense of helplessness and also of urgency that many are feeling in this regard, it is important to stay within the law.

Breaking lockdown regulations can result in a fine or imprisonment, and also there is obviously the risk of infection with Covid-19, the very reason we are all struggling under this new way of life. 

We asked the legal professionals for some insight, and here’s what Bayanda Mdingi and Tom Smith of LAW FOR ALL told us.

"There’s a lot of ambiguity with Lockdown Regulations, the President even conceded to that in his most recent address," they told us. 

But, the Level 4 Regulations are quite clear when it comes to Domestic Workers in private households: in Part N of the Level 4 Regulations it refers to Private Households' Employment and it reads as follows: "Live-in staff, and staff providing care to the sick, mentally ill, elderly, people with disabilities and children". 

"In other words any live-out domestic workers must be providing care for the above mentioned people, if part of their duties does not include the above they are not permitted to go back to work under level 4 Regulations," they clarified.

"In the case of home school teachers in private households, the rules do not provide for them to return."

As such the police or even a body corporate may enforce the rules and deny the teacher or tutor a permit or access to a complex.

Note: A domestic worker includes anyone who works in a private home as a driver, gardener, cleaner or childminder, or cares for a sick, frail, disabled or mentally unwell individual in the home.

Childminders can return to work, but other domestic workers cannot. See more here: Are all nannies and domestic workers able to return to work under Level 4 lockdown?

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