14 June 2012

Namibia: Wages Commission Conducts Nationwide Hearings

The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare has urged members of the public to submit to it written representations concerning the terms and conditions of employment for domestic workers.

These submissions are pursuant to the recent convening and gazetting of the Wages Commission on Domestic Workers by Labour and Social Welfare Minister Immanuel Ngatjizeko as per Section 111 (3) of the Labour Act, No 11 of 2007.

A media statement issued by the Chairperson of the Wages Commission on Domestic Workers, Dr Libertina Amathila, here on Monday said the submissions should be delivered to the Wages Commission on Domestic Workers at the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare not later than July 30, 2012.

She added that the commission is embarking on country-wide public hearings to invite and give an opportunity to domestic workers, employers, interested individuals, groups, organisations and the public at large to express their opinions and give input on the plight of domestic workers.

The hearings will commence on June 25, 2012 in the Erongo Region and end on October 3, 2012 in the Khomas Region.

"In conducting its investigation, the commission would consider the aims of Article 95 of the Namibian Constitution with respect to labour matters," Amathila noted. Article 95 deals with the promotion of the welfare of the Namibian people.

The commission will also consider the objective of providing terms and conditions of employment for domestic workers that are not less favourable than those applicable to other employees in terms of the Labour Act, she stressed.

In submitting its recommendations and conclusions to Ngatjizeko, the commission will take full account of the content of the International Labour Organisation (ILOs) Convention 189: Decent Work for Domestic Workers.

These, according to the chairperson, are the latest authoritative international standards adopted by the ILO on June 16 2011. The aim of the exercise is to eventually come up with terms and conditions of employment, as well as a minimum wage for domestic workers.

The commission consists of Amathila as chairperson; the Labour Resource and Research Institute (LaRRI)'s Hilma Shindondola Mote, who represents the interests of registered trade unions; Women's Action for Development (WAD) director Veronica De Klerk representing the interests of registered employers' organizations; the mediaombudsman and legal practitioner, Clement Daniels, and Uahatjiri Ngaujake, economist and senior manager at the Social Security Commission (SSC).

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