How Can the JHWA Help Me?
Ø Informs household workers of labour right and regulations
Ø Provides household workers with training opportunities
Ø Provides updates on job opportunities in the domestic services and in other occupation
Ø Puts household workers in touch with potential employers
Ø Provides a support network of household workers
Call JHWA ‘Helpline’ to get information and advice on:
Ø Vacation and maternity leave
Ø Minimum wage
Ø Sexual harassment and abuse on the job
Ø Laws and rights regarding termination
Ø National Insurance (NIS)
Ø National Housing Trust (NHT) contribution
Our Actions Bring Change
JHWA has been successful in:
Ø Lobbying for a fair increase in the minimum wage and will continue to do so in the future
Ø Establishing a ‘helpline’ service to provide job opportunities for women who provide domestic service, and to assist household workers in crisis
Ø Referring unresolved employer/employee disputes to the Ministry of Labour
Ø Setting up chapters in 5 other parishes: St. Mary, Clarendon, Manchester, St. Ann and St. Thomas
Your Rights as a household Worker
Most labour laws apply to household workers, (i.e. they are entitled to public holidays, and rest day (s) per week. If they work on these days, they are to be paid double). Household workers should NOT be paid any amount below the minimum wage. The Minimum Wage Law protects workers from this illegal practice. The Minimum Wage Law maintains that time-and-a-half must be paid to workers for all hours over the normal work week. However, household workers can enter into agreement with their employer to receive single pay for a 44 –hour work week.
Leave and Termination of Employment
After working with an employer for 1 year, the household worker is entitled to 2 weeks paid vacation leave and 3 weeks paid vacation leave after 11 years with the same employer. Workers are entitled 5 days of sick leave, after 110 days (4 months), and 2 weeks sick leave with pay after 1 year.
Household worker are also protected under the Termination and Redundancy Payment Act which allows for the employer and worker to agree on 90 day “probation” at the start of employment so that each party can evaluate each other. During this time, the worker does not have to give notice to leave the job, nor does the employer, to terminate the services of the worker. After working with an employer for 4 weeks after probation, the worker is entitled 2 weeks’ notice or 2 weeks pay when notice is not given. This increase the longer the worker is on the job. If a worker is made redundant, she is entitled to 2 weeks pay for each year of service as well as pay for any vacation leave left unused.
Household workers ages 18-65 are required to make NIS and NHT contributions. Both the worker and the employer are responsible for making these contributions; weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Household workers who contribute to the NIS are entitled to Retirement Income Benefit, Funeral Grant and Widows/Widowers Benefit. Regular contributors to the NHT are eligible to apply for mortgage loans from this institution. Household workers are advised to check that employers file returns on their behalf.
JHWA is Here For You!
Become a member today. Membership is open to all women employed as household workers across Jamaica.
JHWA welcomes the support of individuals or groups