workers busy working on the Chunga Bridge in Matero.
File:workers busy working on the Chunga Bridge in Matero.

The Zambia Federation of Employers has charged that the newly revised minimum wage for domestic workers and shop keepers is abnormal.

Federation Executive Director Harrington Chibanda said in an interview that employers will have a big challenge adhering to the new wages.
Mr. Chibanda said government’s decision to increase the minimum wage for domestic workers by almost 100 percent is unfair on employers.

He said the level of increment is abnormal adding that it will be difficult for domestic employers to pay workers almost K1, 000 in view of the high cost of living.

“Most of the people who have employed domestic workers are civil servants. Have they ever been awarded a 100 percent increment? The answer is no,” he said.

Mr. Chibanda said the average salary for most civil servants is around K5, 000 or less adding that it will be practically impossible for them to pay for domestic workers.

He predicted that what will follow are massive job layoffs of domestic workers.

“They will lose jobs because most employers won’t be able to afford them, they will simply let them go,” he warned.

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45 COMMENTS

  1. I agree

    Stop copying what the west does.

    Pay the workers as you see fit. The minimum wage thing is not respected anywhere anyway.

    Zambians as a whole are nice people and I dearly love them but individually they are 5tupid and backwards.

    Best employers are accorded the freedom to pay their workers as they see fit.

    I am paid £23,000 and I have a car and I am doing very well- thank you very much at 27

    Thanks

    BB2014,2016

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    • A PhD holder getting £23,000 ? , Mac Donalds staff get that……Just goes to show these days in Europe ones don’t need a university education that comes with a hefty student loan…..an apprentice scheme in the right field will put you way ahead of your compatriots , especially those with useless degrees…

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    • Mushota has been 27 years old since 2012.

      But it is true this minimum wage issue was not thought through, never mind properly.

      It will hurt small businesses.

      Expect layoffs to follow.

      This government is trying to win votes for 2021.

      Clueless.

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    • @Spaka, sometimes we get education not for money. Look I got no PhD, but I get some PhD students in my classes. Teaching is not my job, I got 4 jobs. I don’t know my salary, but I make good money.
      Even PhD holders can be domestic workers like Mushota, what’s wrong with that?

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    • Nostradamus

      Unless your parents are rich , these days getting a degree is very expensive if the the degree can not pay for itself ,it is not worth it….unless you like to be in debt..

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    • As if there will be something that Animo Farm will ever agree to! Namwala Utd Football Club. With Coach – Childish.

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    • That’s very little money for a PhD holder. I have a BA hons and earn more than you. You should move to London babes.

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    • Which £23,000 in a nursing home don’t lie pls we know those jobs and a shared house coz that’s what is common in the UK.
      Shame

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    • PF like exaggerating money.
      I phoned my 6 people peeling cassava we sell to breweries, I asked them how on Earth we can pay 1million kwacha a month.
      They said “chilikuli imwe”. So I told them I am sending a peeler machine in December (cost $300), and only 1 man Ba Tandeo will work there.
      Am sad, but that’s only way.
      But most likely I just close the thing. I always close when emotions are involved.

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    • Hey you slave owners pay your slaves fairly. Try living on k500
      Haven’t you heard of William Wilberforce? Slavery ended 200 years ago.
      Might as well stop going to church bcoz you are heading for hell

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    • @Solomon The issue is about who can afford. Those getting “K500” will soon be getting zero. Which is better?

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  2. The same wages and salaries you’ve increased for the workers who don’t work for you. Please increase the wages and salaries for there employers. Thank you very much.

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  3. There’s a story of a Zambian contractor who was paid 360,000 kwacha but only paid his employees maximum of K600 x 100 employees. We complain against foreigners maltreatment of Zambian workers and we do worse things. Just like businesses we accuse foreigners of stealing business from us and yet we know the reason for this. ..we don’t know how to treat consumers who happen to be our customers. ..we overcharge them. So if someone sets up a shop where I am treated like a king where do you think I’ll prefer to buy from.

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    • OF late your reasoning is worsening. You mean you cant differentiate between domestic workers and general workers. Please even if you are a carder. The contractor you mentioned employed general workers. You expect individual employers of domestic helpers to be pay same salaries as companies or businesses.You sound like an old man but your reasoning in many instances lacks wisdom. This country will never develop with this kind of thinking.

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    • @Jake we are talking about minimum. So to you it’s ok if a kaboyi gets 1000 kwacha and a brick layer gets 450 kwacha? Use your common sense or if you can’t afford it don’t start a verb you can’t win. So to you only domestics should not get below 1000? My reasoning is better than you because my comments covered all workers.

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  4. Poor pay is slavery. If you can’t pay the due monthly wage, pay the same for a few days and leave the person free to pursue other interests or work. Justifying poor pay is inhuman. Ask the domestic workers how they feel when madam does her hair every week or the boss brings six packs and Jamesons while they are paid less than their cost. People proclaiming to be Christians. Really?!

    Good thing with these hikes is that it will eliminate domestic work. It’s an abhorrent human practice. Let’s clean our own toilets and yards. That, in turn, drives labour to learn skills and utilise time better to increase productivity and earnings. Why clean someone’s toilet for life when your village has mukula logs?

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  5. Am letting go of my garden boy and maid this month forthwith, after all I can do without them. At least I was helping to put food on their table. These PF goons have failed to create the thousands of jobs they promised the people, now they want to force things under our throats? Tax after tax, now minimum wages, I don’t know where these nincompoops live. Come 28 Nov another barrage of taxes will be announced kaili the Zambian bonds are the worst performing since last year and all investors have lost confidence. So no IMF billions for now, brace yourselves dununa reloaded.

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  6. The rule of the game is employ those you can pay. Can somebody be paying somebody working full time a $ 45? That’s unjust and criminal. Employ only those you can pay that they survive on their work unless they work half day so that the other time they utilise in doing other money earning jobs.

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  7. The biggest problem we have in Zambia is “keeping up appearances”. The majority of the people who have employed maids and garden boys don’t need them by it part of the colonial hangover to show people that you were a success and you have a maid and a garden boy. What most working women need is merely babysitting but because of laziness they let maids become assistants to the madam to the extent of even sleeping with their husbands. I was surprised to find my cousin in Chelston with a maid when she was a stay at home wife and when I asked her as to why she had employed a maid, he answer was that her husband had been promoted to HR Manager.

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    • Of course we need them to look after our children when we are away for work or business. We will simply get our relatives from the village and them ma 600.This government is very inconsiderate. Joyce Nonde is a Cabinet minister who gets a hefty salary and allowances and so can very easily afford to pay those minimum wages to her domestic workers. They should not compare their positions to ours

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  8. This is now the era explotation of part time domestics….called in and payed for only 2 to 3 days but made to do 7 days work…..

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    • Actually last year I stayed in Lusaka for 8 months and had a maid who only came twice a week and I paid K70.00 Very cheap and affordable. As much as the govt is trying to please the domestic workers, they are not being realistic and handling the issue with sincerity. It also shows how the PF govt is detatched with the reality in the country. Not everyone is having it easy like them.

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  9. Mwebantu, why can’t the humble leader ECL hold a PRESS CONFERENCE where he explains what is going on in the country? I think it is only in Zambia where the President is afraid to address his people.

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  10. @habenzu…I wish you knew that it’s not easy running house chores…..whether working or stay at home woman….if one can afford a helper the better….it’s just that the increment was only done downstream as the cry may be….but there are people who can afford to pay that much to their helpers…and some as we debate are already doing so….my helper gets 1200, a bag of mealie and cooking oil…she goes on leave every year and we both happy with the arrangement….maybe the issue to consider is knowing if you can manage helper or not…..they need not be enslaved and choked with chores meanwhile they get peanuts through the nose ……understand that we human and we need to help each other where need be……if one can afford why not if not ….have an agreed arrangement where it…

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    • @Tellital…I know exactly what I am talking about. I have raised 3 children who have all graduated from university and are working. I agree with you that if you can afford some help the better but you have to pay them well. I used to have a babysitter when my kids were younger and when we were both at work but I used relatives to babysit though I am not saying it has to be a relative. We did everything else like cooking, laundry and cleaning the house. We used to hire a gardener once in a while to tend the garden and do some landscaping and he was paid well and not the K300 and K500 some people pay others.

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  11. ….have an agreed arrangement where it benefits both parties….e.g…have them work specific days and pay them accordingly….. then they can balance up elsewhere……

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  12. Have civil servants ever been awarded 100% inreament? YES. Michael Sata increased civil servant salaries by 300%, and that is part of the reason Government is struggling.
    Civil servants get car loans at 0% interest, do not be fooled, they build big houses in Chalala and get a lot money from workshops.

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  13. Who said everyone should have domestic servant? If you cant afford one, stay away for employing one – period!!

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    • Stop talking like you know it all ,some times these people come begging to work for as little as 300 kwacha and some are primary school teachers who need someone to remain with kids at home. See a bigger picture in this not looking at your riches .

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  14. Let Joyce Nonde employ them kaili. Some of you people on this fora want to sound very educated and yet you are just dunderheads doing domestic chores abroad and wiping the back sides of the elderly like MUSHOTA. The economy is biting back home and the suffering is real. The other day I told my helper that am letting him go after three years and he was so downtrodden. He does not even know how he will survive. The increase would have been justified if disposable income of the working class is improved. Its not like these people work in government after all.

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    • It is not a question of sounding educated and for your information living in the diaspora is not very different from home in terms of the jobs people do. If you are educated and qualified you will get a good paying job better of course than home and those who “wipe elderly people’s backsides” as you put it are people who are not qualified. We know what is on the ground back home and some of us even have businesses and we only employ those that we can afford. Not everyone who has Employed domestic help needs them. It has become a status symbol pa Zed to have a maid.

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  15. Its not abnormal the issue at hand is to make sure that every Zambians salary has to be hike at 100% don’t forget that our food basket is k 5000 now think about those people who gets k1000 are they going to manage to take their offsprings to school, others are widows. If I Eck was the president of this national so called Zambia I would have made every domestic worker and general workers, etc to be getting k 3000

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  16. AVIC general workers, they work from 07hrs to 17hrs and paid a K20 everyday?
    A grade 12 shopkeeper working from 08hrs to 17hrs and paid a K500 salary monthly?
    Graduates who works as general workers because of lack of jobs in the city are getting K35 per day.
    DO U SUPPORT this to be normal?
    I support the new wage ine.

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  17. At least getting half a loaf is better than none. Where there is high levels of unemployment and now you are saying if you can’t afford then don’t employ so then where are these people going to go.

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  18. How foolish and stupid some one could be , to ask her employee to pay his domestic worker more when he does not pay him enough. Joice Nonde has three domestic workers who are paid by government, her children’s school is paid by Govt . house rentals by government , vehicle, fuel, food by govt Her salary is just kept in her account . Nonde do not play to the gallery. If you think you become popular you are cheating your self for a lot of the same people you want to hoodwink , tomorrow shall be on the streets

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  19. Will buy a washing machine and dishwasher. Will hire someone to iron.may as well take little children to daycare- that’s the reality of western countries because domestic workers are unaffordable.

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  20. coaches will be fully booked ferrying our village cousins across the country this month end. Just be prepared for village type mistakes around the house. Non stick pan meet your new friend ifuso na Ajax.

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