Domestic Workers Week is observed between 4-10 November and everyone who has a helper should take a couple of minutes in day to realise how blessed they are to have a person who takes care of chores and other household tasks that they cannot find time to get to. Most of us who understand that these people are mothers, grandmothers, breadwinners or human beings working to survive honour their contribution in our lives.


There are various things that an employer can do to show appreciation for their employee/s and this Domestic Workers Week we encourage everyone to establish a healthy working relationship with the person making their lives a bit easier to manage. Appreciation comes in many ways, starting with basic manners or etiquette such saying good morning when they come in to work, saying please and thank you, not leaving disgusting things for them to clean-up and making an effort to help with productivity or safety at work.

Here are 3 points employers and employees can consider starting from today:

  1. Create a relationship between employer and employee to make it easier to talk about anything that may potentially affect the work environment. There are many elements that can help foster mutual understanding and respect between two people, and as much as every relationship is different, each relationship follows the universal truth. Both parties need to know each other and establishing an open line to discuss concerns, interests, family, the future and current affairs. This can be the start of a long healthy partnership between the employee (service provider) and employer (client).
  2. Consider more formal agreements and take significant measures to create a healthy working condition by making sure you know each other’s rights as employer and employee as well as expectations. The best way to ensure that everyone is still delivering as per agreement is by having bi-annual meetings to discuss performance, working hours, work load, progress, new developments and wages.
  3. There should be an element of empowerment to uplift employees. Domestic Workers’ minimum wage is not really enough to move them away from the poverty line and they feel the pinch greater than most workers when the economy fluctuates because of the lack of education, skills and training that can potentially help them increase their income. Investing in some form of skills development and training can build their confident and productivity in one way or other. 

Here are a few things to consider:

Domestic Workers have been in our lives for ages and yet there is still a lot of inequality, ill-treatment, ridiculous wages, and lack of understanding of their average living cost.  

Every family, parent, home owner and workaholic knows the amount of time they save thanks to work done by their domestic workers. They then use this time to spend with family and friends, to study, run their side hustle or run their business, so let’s show our helpers more love and appreciation. Not only for this week but on a daily basis.

By Keneiloe Serongoane

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