You wouldn’t work without an employment contract, so why should your domestic worker?
The results of the annual Sweep South Report on Pay and Working Conditions for Domestic Workers survey are alarming. The report found that 1 in 3 domestic workers lost their jobs due to Covid-19 and 67% of those surveyed earn less than R3000 per month. Specifically, the survey indicates that the domestic workers surveyed earned between R2,614 and R2,916 a month – below SA’s minimum wage – and that most had experienced a decrease in their average earnings from 2020. It’s also been widely reported that COVID-19 led to approximately 250 000 local domestic workers losing their jobs and only 21 000 of them succeeded in claiming from UIF.
While the effects of the pandemic are extraordinary, these findings highlight just how vulnerable domestic workers are. This, coupled with the fact that less than half of South African households comply with the laws governing the employment of domestic workers (according to the Western Cape Department of Labour), underscores how important it is to regulate the domestic employment contract system. This prompted MiVoice Mobile Apps to enhance its intended mobile wallet to uplift this much-neglected sector of workers – and domestic employee HR management app, MiVoice, was born.
Hennie Heymans, CEO of collections and payments agency StratCol, the company that developed the app, says that MiVoice was conceived in response to evidence that domestic employees are among the most vulnerable employees in SA. “Domestic employee relationships survive on the balance of many pillars, such as scope of work, remuneration, trust, payment on due date, legal requirements, compassion, etc. But, until now, there has been no programme, no blueprint, no financial account and no effort to combine all of these and manage it on an equal footing for people who are sometimes closer than actual family,” says Heymans.
In some dispute instances, the domestic employee is coached by a trade union official to convince the CCMA that the employer is a tyrant who has treated them unfairly, so employers also need to protect themselves, notes Heymans.
He adds that, as the app evolved, it soon became clear it would add convenience as well as protection to domestic employers and employees alike. “The app has truly been designed to make managing household employees easier, better, safer and legally compliant, and we believe it will revolutionise domestic employment relationships in SA.”
The world’s first fully mobile HR management app, MiVoice administers all employment-related tasks, and offers smart time and task management features, household safety features and commuter accident insurance. Employers are able to deposit wages into employees’ MiVoice zero-cost e-wallets, who can then make free transfers to bank accounts, make account payments and withdraw cash. The wallet offers charge-free airtime, data and electricity purchases, and digital vouchers for selected retailers.
MiVoice also offers insurance and personal protection services to employers at a premium, which is used to subsidise the transactional financial products made available free of charge in the hands of employees. The next version of the app will include UIF registration and payments.
- Legal employment contract: MiVoice can automatically generate an official, legal employment contract, formalising the working relationship and protecting both parties.
- Arrival and departure register: A Covid-19 compliant sign-in register, incorporating a geolocation sign-in and sign-out feature, keeps track of hours objectively and accurately.
- Easy HR management: Access to a full suite of HR tools to track and manage annual leave, sick leave, UIF, payslips and salary proof of payment.
- Realtime task manager: Allows users to set daily tasks which are shown in real time once completed, improving communication around expectations and work effectiveness.
- Safe, effortless payments and zero cost wallet: Employers deposit wages into employees’ MiVoice wallets, who can then make free transfers to bank accounts, make account payments and withdraw cash. The wallet also offers charge-free airtime, data and electricity purchases, and digital vouchers for selected retailers. All MiVoice’s systems are protected by the same security measures audited by its sponsoring bank and as required under its Third-Party Payment Processer license, so all transactions are secure.
- Home security features: Both the employer and employee have access to world-class emergency features, which:
- Sends an emergency alert to a pre-selected group of phone contacts;
- Calls in armed response from the closest security vehicle, regardless of security company; and
- Sends an ambulance immediately to the user’s location, if required.
- Commuter accident insurance:Should the employee die in a vehicle accident on route to or from work, the commuter insurance will pay out R10 000 to the family. If she or he is hospitalised with an injury due to a vehicle accident on route to or from work, both the employer and employee will receive R250 per day until discharged from hospital.
MiVoice is available on the App Store or Google Play.
- Download cost: Free
- Usage cost: Free
- Wallet & HR cost: R49 per employee per month, payable by the employers. Domestic employees receive these services free of charge. *Please note: MiVoice has been made available to all South Africans for download and free use of all features until 31 August 2021, in a bid to enable those affected by the demonstrations and violence in July to continue to make and receive payments and make purchases such as airtime and electricity.
[This article was supplied by MiVoice]