New Labour Law Requires Written Contract for Engaging Domestic Workers
The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations in collaboration with Parliament has passed the Labour (Domestic Workers’) Regulations, 2020 (L.I. 2408) to establish a governance framework for the regulation of domestic work and ensure full labour protection for domestic workers.
The new regulation requires the employer and the domestic worker to enter into a written contract of employment which will stipulate the conditions of service and related matters.
This was disclosed by the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 when he took his turn at the periodic “Meet the Press” series organised by the Ministry of Information to apprise the public.
According to the minister, available data indicates that domestic workers represent 0.5 percent of the total labour force in Ghana.
Demographic factors such as ageing populations, decline in welfare provision, the increasing participation of women in the labour force, and the challenges of balancing work and family life in urban areas have contributed greatly to the increasing demand for domestic workers.
However, despite the significant contribution of domestic workers to GDP, they continue to suffer indecent working conditions, all forms of abuse and vulnerability.
The physical proximity of domestic workers to households poses a heightened risk of abuse and harassment. This risk is greater among live-in domestic workers.
Quoting from the 2015 Labour Force report, the Minister said, “It is worrying to note that, of the 1,944 domestic workers that sustained injuries in the course of their employment, none received compensation from their employers for injuries suffered at the workplace.”
The absence of a comprehensive regulatory framework exposed domestic workers to precarious employment and indecent conditions; a situation which contravenes Article 24 (1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana”, the minister mentioned.
He however expressed optimism that, with the passage of the Labour (Domestic Workers’) Regulations, 2020 (L.I. 2408), domestic worker abuse and indecent conditions of service if not eradicated, will be reduced to the barest minimum.