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Domestic managers Calling upon the Government to fully implement labor laws Protecting Them

Domestic managers are now calling upon the Government through the Ministry of Labour and social services to fully implement labor laws that are aimed at protecting them from continued harassment and unfair job dismissal by their employers
The domestic managers have cited poor working conditions sexual harassment and lack of salaries as part of the daily challenges they are forced to endure.
Grace Anyango Anapapa a single mother and a resident of Eldoret town in uasin gishu county  recounts her  experience in the hands of  her former employer  and  a legal practitioner  who despite working for in the last 13 years  unfairly  dismissed without  notice   and denied all her  dues.
“I have been working for a certain prominent city lawyer in Eldoret but despite working for him for over thirteen years as a committed house help and doubling up as a night guard at his home, he has since refused to pay me and has intimidated me since he understands I have no money to seek legal services I am left helpless,” said Anapapa.
Anapapa who has been fighting for her dues in order to enable her children to remain in school says despite visiting various government offices she has had no help and no lawyer was willing to represent her in court as she has no legal fees.
“I am  tired but  I haven’t  given up fighting for what is  rightfully mine ,they  did not pay my overtime for the thirteen years I worked for them even as  a night  guard , I have  reported  the matter  to the  turbo sub county labor  offices  but nothing has been done I am afraid my children will have to drop from school ,as you can see I am sickly I have no more energy left to work as a domestic manager ,my son who is in secondary school has  been forced to work at a  construction site to raise his own school fees it pains me but  what do I do,” she said.
“I want  my overtime money , I did both works as house girl and watchman for 13 years, and they  owe me over 800, 000 Kenya shillings , I have  endured hell in their house I constantly live on medication I developed high blood  pressure I need my money but  since I am a common person they lawyer has  decided to overlook my  basic  rights’ Paused Anapapa.
The situation is  the same for many Domestic house managers. Not  far away from Anpapas  home is Elizabeth Wairimu. For over ten years she worked for her employer  without pay and was dismissed even without notice.
“As house helps we are going through a lot of  challenges , our normal day begins at 3:00am  we work the entire  day without  rest , we  are not  allowed to eat the food we  cook for our  employers and  our  families  sometimes we are left without  any food   what domestic managers are going through is modern day slavery  with total disregard of the labor laws of  this country,” said Elizabeth.
She confirms her salary was only Sh6,000 money that could not  cater  for her needs.
“Our employers even don’t pay  remit for our National Social Security Fund (NSSF), National Hospital Insurance  Fund (NHIF) and even when we fall ill we are supposed to work , no sick leave , the  working  conditions are  terrible at times many house helps are raped but  cannot  speak out just to save  the only  job they have , i am now  suffering from  diabetes and high blood pressure  just like many domestic managers in this country,” Says Wairimu.
Central organization of trade unions (COTU) Uasin Gishu chapter Chairman, Peter Odima says cases of domestic managers being mistreated and going for years without pay are rampant; however labor officers have failed to ensure the implementation of the Labor laws in Kenya many sit in offices just to earn a salary.
“We have received information about the two cases of domestic managers whose rights have been violated and we have started an investigation to ensure that they get justice. It’s against the Labor laws and the  Constitution of  Kenya  for  any employer to fail to adhere  to the  minimum wage  for  any worker in Kenya, currently the minimum pay for domestic managers should be  sixteen thousand Kenya shillings,” Odima said.
He further blamed the Director of Public prosecution for taking away the power of prosecution from the labor officers.
“Since the Director of Public Prosecution took prosecutorial powers from the Ministry of labor it has been hard for labor officers to take cases to court directly, the powers should be taken back to labor officers for them to prosecute employers who don’t pay according to the law, many employers have  taken advantage of the situation to undermine the rights of workers” he said,.
Rogers Ombati a human rights activist with the the Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers.(KUDHEIHA) says “We will work with labor and county officers to ensure that they  are paid their dues, overtime  and holiday as is  required by law,I think it’s about time the  rights of Kenya workers including the  domestic managers are upheld,”Noted Ombati
Ombati says all domestic managers should ensure that they sign a contractual agreement with their employers, this will ensure their rights are upheld an incase of a violation of their rights the courts will intervene with ease
 Efforts to reach out to the Uasingishu County labor officer Caroline Chemusoi have   had no fruits ,Many employees in Uasin Gishu  claiming the  officer who has for the last ten years  been at the same  station  could be colluding with their employers hence the continued cases of  the  violations of workers’ rights in Uasin Gishu.

These stories were investigated and reported under the access to justice program at the Transparency International –Kenya and UNDP

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