A report by SweepSouth, an on-demand home services provider has asserted that domestic workers in Kenya earn an average of Ksh8,522, against their living expenses of Ksh10,731, meaning they’re forced to take on debt or reduce spending costs on vital items to make ends meet every month.
The 2021 SweepSouth Report on Pay and Working Conditions for Domestic Workers across Africa is the first to be conducted across three countries, including Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria.
The report further notes that domestic workers used 64 percent are in debt, 55 percent do not make enough to be able to save while 24 percent have personal savings or pension.
In addition, 42 percent of their wages is spent on rent, 40 percent on food and 22 percent on transport
In Kenya and Nigeria, about 2 in 5 domestic workers lost their jobs due to the pandemic versus 1 in 5 in South Africa.
On a positive note, the survey revealed a clear correlation between better employment protections for domestic workers and their work conditions. While Kenya and South Africa’s protections specific to domestic workers lay down basic rights and principles in achieving decent work for them, Nigeria’s regulations are not as extensive.
More than 7,000 respondents took part, making it the largest and most detailed survey of its kind, and offering the most comprehensive view to date of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on domestic workers across sub-Saharan Africa.