THOUGHT OF THE WEEK Domestic workers victory
According to Stats SA, South African households employ approximately one million domestic workers. As a vulnerable employee group, government has over the years developed labour laws to provide protection to these employees.
Although much has been done to include domestic workers in the scope of the Labour Relations Act, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the Unemployment Insurance Act, domestic workers employed in private households remained excluded from the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) for compensation for occupational injuries and diseases.
In May this year, in the judgment of Mahlangu and Another v The Minister of Labour & Others, the High Court declared that s1(xix)(v) of COIDA is unconstitutional and invalid to the extent that it excludes domestic workers in private households from the definition of “employee”.
The department is currently engaged in a legislative process to amend COIDA.