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Domestic workers are mothers too

 
Do you give your helper time off during the holiday season?
 Domestic workers are mothers too
By Masanda Peter
Article originally in Parent24
This past December I saw something that didn’t sit well with me: Domestic workers who remain with their employers during the festive season. Why does a family feel that a domestic worker does not deserve to take a holiday during a period where families traditionally get together? You have been with this woman the whole year- what make you think that she does not deserve to be with her family while you are having a good time with yours?

What about the law?

One time at the beach I saw a domestic worker in her full uniform looking after the children while the rest of the family went for a swim. Legislation states the following: Should a domestic employee work on a public holiday that would, but for the public holiday, normally have been a working day (assuming a full day is worked), the employee is entitled to be paid double wages for that day, or one and one-third of the normal wages plus a day's paid leave, within seven days of the public holiday. I am all for that clause in legislation, but still wonder why this woman cannot go on holiday.

I once saw something that surprised me at a music festival that lasted the whole weekend: A lady looking after the kids while mama and papa were getting wasted and having a jol. Is it too much for us that we cannot even manage to spend the holiday without our helpers/domestic workers/maids? This sometimes boils down to “ubuntu” – you might have plenty of money- you know that you can buy her services and she needs this job so that she can take care of her family- but why take advantage of that?

Speaking to a few ladies, I was impressed to hear that they do let their helpers go on holiday during December, because they are also taking a holiday, (unless of course the helper volunteers to stay over during holidays).

Too much holidaying to do housework?

Sometime back I wrote an article entitled “Whose child is it anyway?” and now am tempted to ask “Whose house is it anyway?”-  We now fail to look after our homes even when we have the time.

Nwabisa says:
If I can take a holiday and have a rest I believe that the same should apply to my domestic worker. This also gives me time to be with the child and get to spend time with her and I enjoy that. She goes home to Lesotho and I am happy to take over my household.

Thami: If she started late in the year then she does not get a holiday in December. She can, however get a holiday during the year. It depends when she started.
Well, it’s different strokes for different folks, but I think sometimes having a good heart and being considerate goes a long way.


Read more by Masanda Peter

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.


Could you cope without your helper during the holidays?

Sources: www.roylaw.co.za
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