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JM | Jun 17, 2022

Rights, responsibilities of household workers now at the forefront following manual launch

Juanique Tennant

Juanique Tennant / Our Today

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Imani Duncan-Price addresses attendees of the Jamaica Household Workers Union (JHWU) media launch held on Thursday (June 16) (Photo: Our Today/ Juanique Tennant)

As Jamaica on Thursday (June 16) joined the rest of the world in observance of International Domestic Workers Day, household workers and their employers received a timely reminder, of the integral role played by the group as part of the global labour force.

Celebrated under the theme ‘Domestic Workers Power the Economy: Invest in Us!’, the Day saw the Jamaica Household Workers Union (JHWU) lay the groundwork for the establishment of greater organisation within the sector, through the release of a manual for household workers and employers in Jamaica.

The manual, which is the first of its kind, is intended to raise public awareness of the rights of domestic workers and the responsibilities of those who employ them.

Jamaica Household Workers’ Union (JHWU) President Shirley Pryce (seated, centre) points out a feature in the JHWU Manual for Household Workers and Employers in Jamaica to Minister of Labour and Social Security Karl Samuda and Project Consultant on the manual and PSA campaign Imani Duncan-Price (seated left) at Thursday’s launch of the manual. Standing behind them are JHWU executive members (from left) Leashia Tyrell-Moore, Elaine Duncan, and Moreen Smith (Photo: Our Today/Cassandra Everett)

Addressing attendees of the union’s official media launch, held yesterday afternoon (June 16), Imani Duncan-Price, project consultant on the JHWU manual and PSA campaign, shared: “After months of working with various stakeholders around the creation and development of a manual that includes all relevant laws that impact domestic workers and the implications for them…pooling together working with team members in creating ads because not all Jamaicans read… (the groundwork has been laid to foster) productive relationships and partnerships in the home.”

While emphasising that “domestic work is work”, Duncan-Price thanked the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF) for sponsoring the development of the household workers manual.

To those listening, she appealed: “We want the messages to go far and wide. We want the messages of respect, of value, of what domestic workers mean to the family… . The thematic for today is not by chance domestic workers power the economy, allowing so many of us to do what we have to do in other spaces within our society.”

Imani Duncan-Price addresses attendees of the Jamaica Household Workers Union (JHWU) media launch held on Thursday (June 16) (Photo: Our Today/ Juanique Tennant)

As a result, the project consultant said: “So we have to honour them and pay them properly…and do what is right. We hope that this public service campaign will inspire not only greater awareness but also action.”

In closing, Duncan-Price informed that “we all have a responsibility in respecting and recognizing all workers in our economy. I do hope that this manual becomes a helpful tool in every household in Jamaica.”

The household workers and employers in Jamaica manual is available for download here and provides useful information about the laws governing employer-employee relationships, and about good employment practices. 

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