The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has commended Government for recognising domestic workers by increasing their minimum wage from K522.40 to K993.60.
ILO deputy regional director for Africa Peter van Rooij said during a media interaction meeting yesterday that domestic workers will now be able to meet some of the economic challenges they have been facing over the years.
Last week, Government increased minimum salaries for various categories of employees, with the gross pay for domestic workers upped from K522.40 to K993.60.
“We also need to understand why it is important to have a minimum wage. Zambia is not the first country that has changed the minimum wage for domestic workers. They are workers like any other,” he said.
Mr van Rooij said there is need for better mechanism to change minimum wages to achieve a win-win situation for both employees and employers.
He said employers should endeavour to engage employees when making changes to their salaries to promote dialogue.
He said the minimum wage should be changed regularly in view of fluctuating inflation rate as a way of motivating the workers in all sectors.
And Mrs Simukoko said Government has embarked on social security reforms to enable more people to access social services to help alleviate poverty at household level.
“The 2017 Labour Force Survey shows that out of an estimated labour force of 5,049,059, the estimated number of employed population was 2,971,170 persons out of 24.1 percent who were formally employed, while 75.9 percent were informally employed,” she said.
Mrs Simukoko said this in a speech read on her behalf by Ministry of Labour and Social Security Permanent Secretary Barnaby Mulenga at the welcome cocktail of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) regional workshop at Hilton Garden Inn on Tuesday night.
She said social security can be a catalyst for social and economic development if well designed and structured.
And ISSA southern Africa chairman Prince Lonkhonkhela Dlamini said the social security coverage gap in Africa is too low, and that only 10 percent of the population has access to social security cover.
Meanwhile, National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) director general Yollard Kachinda said the authority is in the process of extending social security coverage to the informal sector by incorporating domestic workers, bus and taxi drivers, marketeers, sawmillers and small-scale farmers as a starting point for extending social security coverage.