Monday, February 26, 2024

Zambia Federation of Employers Advocates for Flexible Minimum Wage for Domestic Workers

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The Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) has called for a flexible minimum wage structure for domestic workers, advocating for a tiered system that considers the varying financial capacities of employers. Harrington Chibanda, the ZFE’s Chief Executive Officer, voiced concerns about the financial strain uniform minimum wages might impose on employers.

In an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka, Chibanda proposed a tiered minimum wage system that acknowledges the diverse financial capabilities of employers. He suggested a structure where those capable of affording the standard monthly rate of 1300 Zambian kwacha (K1300) for domestic workers could do so. However, he stressed the need for diverse minimum wage rates aligned with different income levels to alleviate the burden on employers while ensuring fair compensation.

Chibanda recommended a flexible work arrangement that allows for part-time employment, proposing that part-time workers be compensated at a rate less than the standard K1300. This approach, he noted, aims to acknowledge that not all workers may require full-time employment or remuneration.

Emphasizing the potential benefits of flexibility, Chibanda encouraged workers to explore part-time opportunities, recognizing the need for additional income sources and promoting financial resilience.

The ZFE acknowledges the challenges faced by employers, particularly those in the private sector, highlighting the potential difficulty in meeting the newly announced K1300 minimum wage for domestic workers. Chibanda emphasized the necessity to strike a balance between fair compensation and the economic realities faced by both employers and employees.

This call for a flexible minimum wage structure follows recent announcements by the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Brenda Tambatamba, who declared an increase in the minimum wage for domestic workers to k1300. Tambatamba also revealed adjusted minimum wages for shop workers, ranging between K2,313.10 and K4,638.25, among other increments.

The ZFE’s proposal for a tiered and flexible minimum wage system signals a broader conversation on balancing fair compensation with employers’ financial capacities, aiming to address the diverse needs of both employers and workers within Zambia’s employment landscape.

17 COMMENTS

  1. For domestic services it’s a bit tricky. My monthly income is 10,000kwacha. How much am going to pay my servant not forgetting Zesco and Nkana water etc. Some clever servants have multiple jobs. They negotiate with the employers on schedules. They end up with decent figures.

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    • Should a domestic worker’s salary be tied to the boss’s? Thats almost like a ransom and people will say their salaries are confidential

  2. Very tricky indeed these new wages only apply to a select few
    85% of domestics are listed as relatives
    same with general workers a select few as the informal sector is not monitored as they should be

  3. We implemented this under pf rule. Then the village coon hh came and removed it so that our people can be enslaved by foreigners

    • enslaved by foreigners !! Why cause you not capable of doing it yourself
      It is most foreigners who are paying correct wages unlike you ripping your fellow country men/women off
      As for Pf you in a big mess how can we possible listen or do anything you say RIP

  4. If you cannot afford a house servant, do not have one. The government must not relax the minimum wage. If people cannot afford to pay the right wage, let their wives wash their own clothes like wives everywhere else in the world. Thank you

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    • People have no jobs and this is what forces them accept slave wages although it’s morally wrong to take advantage of such.

    • @Deja Vu: Absolutely. Why should it stop there? Vendatta can say the same thing- Zambians have no jobs, so lets pay them next to nothing. None of you would ever accept such a state of affairs. You would organise strikes and demand higher wages. However, in your own houses, you want things to work differently, and for you to pay your workers little to nothing. No. Deja Vu you are absolutely right: Government must extend minimum wage protection to the domestic workers. The women in Kanyama, Mutendere, Matero, Chaisa, Chunga all do not depend on domestic workers and do their work. It is time for all those pretenders and scrooges in Kabulonga to now either pay the right amount, or do the work themselves.

    • In other words, they want to have the right to underpay their domestic workers. If there is a national minimum wage in every other field of service, why should domestic workers, who are the lowest of the lowest, be excluded from that protection? I am sorry guys, let your fat and lazy wives wash your clothes, clean your houses and cook your food. Do not try to exploit other Zambians and make them work long hours for little to nothing. The minimum wage should be universal and without exception. Case closed

  5. Domestic wages should be flexible and negotiable between employer and employee. A civil servant earning K5000 per month nett will not be able to pay the K1300 and an employee might be willing to work for less instead of just staying unemployed for years and contributing nothing to the family basket because no one is willing to employ him due to stringent conditions.

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