The Domestic Service Workers Union (DSWU) of Ghana has called on government to ratify the International Labour Organization Convention (ILOC) 189 on decent work for domestic workers.
The ILOC, which has been in existence since 2011, is a legal document which aims at ensuring that domestic workers have fair job treatment and better working conditions.
Ms Eva Attakpah, the National Chairperson for the DSWU, at a stakeholders meeting for domestic workers held on Wednesday, said her outfit aims at pressurising government to ratify the ILOC 189 in the country.
“We have a convention that is 189, we want government to ratify that convention. We have been talking about this for too long; we want government to ratify it for us”, she said.
She said domestic workers in the country face a lot of challenges at their work places, adding, that with the implementation of the convention by government, the problems may reduce.
Ms Attakpah said the convention covers annual leave, maternity leave, safe and healthy working conditions and working hours amongst others for domestic workers.
She said most domestic workers are married yet many are being sacked the moment they become pregnant and their delivery is due.
“Some of us are married but when you get pregnant and you are due to give birth, the moment you go they will sack you. You will not come back again which is not proper,” she said.
She said domestic work is a decent work and we want to be treated like workers.
Madam Esther Kosi, General Secretary of DSWU, said the Labour Act 651, did not cover domestic workers and they are calling on government to ratify the ILOC 189 convention.
“We are appealing to the government because our rights are being tampered on, we are being intimidated, we are being harassed sexually and we can’t speak because they say we are from vulnerable homes”, she said.
Madam Esther said a regulatory scheme is being put in place to ensure that the fundamental rights of domestic workers were not infringed upon.
She said the organization is also in the process of getting its members registered under SSNIT to ensure that domestic workers also contribute for their retirement.
Mr Ernest Barko, the Deputy Director of Policy Planning Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, said domestic workers must enjoy certain privileges just as normal workers do.
“Domestic workers must enjoy leave just as normal workers do, maternity leave and SSNIT contribution amongst others”, he said.
He said employers of these workers should comply with the Labour Act to ensure fairness and equity in the discharge of their duties and responsibilities.