Domestic Work in Tanzania

All about Domestic Work in Tanzania, Domestic Work and Wages, Working Hours, Rights of Domestic Workers and Labour Laws in Tanzania and more on Mywage Tanzania.

How does Tanzania law define a Domestic Worker?

The Tanzania domestic worker/servant is defined as any person employed wholly or partly as a cook, house servant, waiter, butler, maidservant, valet, bar attendant, groom, gardener, washman or watchman; but an employee shall not include any such employee employed wholly or partly in connection with or in relation to any commercial or industrial enterprises. (Regulation of Wages and Terms of Employment Order, 2010).

Is there a specific labour law protecting Domestic Workers’ rights?

Currently there is no specific provision in Tanzania which strictly applies to domestic workers alone. Domestic workers under Tanzania laws are considered together with other employees, so their rights are provided for under the Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004 and Regulation of Wages and Terms of Employment Order, 2010.

However, experience has shown that many employers of domestic workers do not accord most of the labour law rights to employees, and research has shown that this is due to poverty. Often the employers of domestic workers receive minimum wages and therefore can not afford to provide minimum wages to their own domestic workers. Another reason is because some employers of domestic workers are ignorant of the law. Additionally, However some domestic workers themselves are not aware of their employment rights, and can not therefore enforce these rights in the workplace.

Does the law allow domestic worker to join/form a trade union?

Yes, the law allows domestic worker to join/ form trade union. In Tanzania there is one trade union called CHODAWU (Conservation, Hotel, Domestic and Allied Workers Union) representing, amongst others, domestic workers. However, most employees who have joined this trade union are not domestic workers but rather from the other sectors. The reason behind this is partly due to a lack of coordination amongst domestic workers, especially since they do not work in the same place so it is difficult to organise collectively.

Domestic workers wish to be protected against: long hours of work, low payment/wages and child labour, while fighting for written employment contracts, and being able to report their complaints when they are mistreated to government machinery.

How would one describe the employment situation of domestic workers in Tanzania?

Domestic workers are characteristically young girls, some of them of school age. Many are being underpaid below the statutory minimum wage, and there is an absence of written contracts. Sometimes workers are distant or even close relative of the employers, and where this kind of kinship exists the working environment becomes complex.

This is further compounded by the fact that most domestic workers, regardless of kinship, are regarded as family members of the employers, hence we find titles like dada (meaning sister) and kaka (meaning brother) being used in almost all the households that employ domestic workers.

What is needed in terms of the law for domestic workers?

The area of domestic work is increasing fast in Tanzania. With the kind of current employee-employer relationship, there is a need to have special provisions in the law which directly target this sector so as to safeguard the rights and responsibilities of domestic workers and employers.

Read more

Find out more about Minimum Wages in Tanzania.

 

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How does Tanzania law define a Domestic Worker?

The Tanzania domestic worker/servant is defined as any person employed wholly or partly as a cook, house servant, waiter, butler, maidservant, valet, bar attendant, groom, gardener, washman or watchman; but an employee shall not include any such employee employed wholly or partly in connection with or in relation to any commercial or industrial enterprises. (Regulation of Wages and Terms of Employment Order, 2010).

Is there a specific labour law protecting Domestic Workers’ rights?

Currently there is no specific provision in Tanzania which strictly applies to domestic workers alone. Domestic workers under Tanzania laws are considered together with other employees, so their rights are provided for under the Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004 and Regulation of Wages and Terms of Employment Order, 2010.

However, experience has shown that many employers of domestic workers do not accord most of the labour law rights to employees, and research has shown that this is due to poverty. Often the employers of domestic workers receive minimum wages and therefore can not afford to provide minimum wages to their own domestic workers. Another reason is because some employers of domestic workers are ignorant of the law. Additionally, However some domestic workers themselves are not aware of their employment rights, and can not therefore enforce these rights in the workplace.

Does the law allow domestic worker to join/form a trade union?

Yes, the law allows domestic worker to join/ form trade union. In Tanzania there is one trade union called CHODAWU (Conservation, Hotel, Domestic and Allied Workers Union) representing, amongst others, domestic workers. However, most employees who have joined this trade union are not domestic workers but rather from the other sectors. The reason behind this is partly due to a lack of coordination amongst domestic workers, especially since they do not work in the same place so it is difficult to organise collectively.

Domestic workers wish to be protected against: long hours of work, low payment/wages and child labour, while fighting for written employment contracts, and being able to report their complaints when they are mistreated to government machinery.

How would one describe the employment situation of domestic workers in Tanzania?

Domestic workers are characteristically young girls, some of them of school age. Many are being underpaid below the statutory minimum wage, and there is an absence of written contracts. Sometimes workers are distant or even close relative of the employers, and where this kind of kinship exists the working environment becomes complex.

This is further compounded by the fact that most domestic workers, regardless of kinship, are regarded as family members of the employers, hence we find titles like dada (meaning sister) and kaka (meaning brother) being used in almost all the households that employ domestic workers.

What is needed in terms of the law for domestic workers?

The area of domestic work is increasing fast in Tanzania. With the kind of current employee-employer relationship, there is a need to have special provisions in the law which directly target this sector so as to safeguard the rights and responsibilities of domestic workers and employers.

Read more

Find out more about Minimum Wages in Tanzania.

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