What you need to know:
- While some support better conditions for domestic workers, some say the move is punitive and will discourage some from hiring the workers
Some employers have faulted the decision by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) to conduct a door-to-door inspection in residential houses to have all domestic workers registered by the end of the month.
They argue this will not only be punitive but also discourage them from enlisting services of these lower cadre employees.
Mr John Kibe, a resident of Ruaka estate, says he is yet to comply with the new minimum pay for domestic workers because of his low income, and if pushed to the limit, he will have to let his employee go.
“How do I comply with the remittance of Sh200 to social security fund, yet my worker earns very little. It will just eat into her earnings,” he says.
He revealed that he pays his worker Sh3,000 monthly. This falls way below the Sh7, 586 that the Labour ministry published early this year as the minimum wage for Nairobi-based househelps.
“If my salary was a bit higher, paying Sh200 a month to the pension fund would not be a big deal. For now, I’d rather stay without a househelp,” he said.
Both employer and employee are by law required to remit Sh200 each to the social security body on a monthly basis.
Ms Edda Netia, a resident of Buru Buru, supports better conditions for househelps who have professional training.
“I think we need to cultivate a culture of rewarding good work. I have no problem complying with the requirement, but the persons in question must also be up to the task; not that I train you on how to do the job then you begin making outrageous demands,” she argued.
She appealed to the fund to extend the grace period.
“We need more time to effect this requirement because it means reorganising our financial priorities and adjusting budgets,” she said.
Fund Managing Trustee Tom Odongo said there are no two ways about it.
“We will not bend the law to suit a few individuals. The law has been in place since 2009, and if anything, the call for registration represents an amnesty,” he said.
He warned that those who will not have complied by the end of the month will face legal action.
“We have prosecutorial powers, so they should know that this is not a favour we are asking. Employers have an obligation to remit, failing which they will see us spring into action,” he said. He said they target to register more than three million workers.
Ms Frasiah Munyui from Runda supports the social security fund and says domestic workers deserve better treatment since they form an important part of the family.