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Do househelps have rights?

Do househelps have rights?

Dear Mirror lawyer, I got married a few years ago and have started having a family. 


To assist my wife and I manage the home and look after the children, I went to my hometown and arranged for a domestic servant who is 18 years old to come and live with us and help with the house chores.

Before she was given to us, her uncle, a school headmaster, gave me a strong warning to make sure I discharged all the rights the law gave to domestic servants, also called househelps. What are these rights?

Nick Quarshie, Tema.


Dear Nick, domestic servants, also known as domestic workers or househelps are persons employed to work in various setups within the home of the employers.

They may be nannies, gardeners, drivers, housekeepers or launderers. In Ghana, domestic servants are regulated by the Labour (Domestic Workers) Regulations, 2020 L.I. 2408.

The law makes provision for certain rights to be accorded domestic servants by every employer who engages their services. They also have certain obligations to discharge. The rights accorded domestic servants are as follows:

  1. They are to be paid wages which should not be below the National Daily Minimum. But where their work exceeds the daily maximum hours of work of eight hours, they are to be paid overtime for the additional hours worked.
  2. Domestic servants are to be registered by their employer with and have their Social Security contributions deducted from their wages and paid to the appropriate institution or scheme in accordance with the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766).


  1. Where the domestic servant is required to live in the same house with the employer, the employer is required to provide the worker with facilities that are necessary to ensure adequate living conditions such as decent living conditions that guarantee the privacy and safety of the domestic worker, access to toilet and bath facilities and adequate food as well as rest period of at least 24 hours in one week of work.


  1. Every domestic worker is entitled to annual leave of not less than fifteen working days with full pay in a calendar year of continuous service. The worker is also entitled to sick leave and be registered under the Health Insurance Scheme.

In addition, a woman who is a domestic worker, on production of a medical certificate issued by a medical practitioner or a midwife indicating the expected date of her confinement, is entitled to a period of paid maternity leave of at least twelve weeks in addition to the period of annual leave she is entitled after her period of confinement.


  1. A domestic worker is entitled to paid leave from work on a statutory public holiday except that where the worker is required to work during a statutory public holiday, he shall be paid double the amount of the normal wage. The domestic worker is also entitled to join any association such as a trade union, training by the employer and shall not be subjected to any form of forced labour.


  1. All employers of domestic workers are to ensure that no worker is subjected to any form of sexual harassment and violence at the workplace. In addition, the employment of a domestic worker shall not be terminated unfairly. As such an employment could only be terminated by either party giving one month’s notice or a month’s salary in lieu of notice in the case of a contract of three years or more and two weeks’ notice in the case of a contract of less than three years. In the case of a contract from week to week, seven days’ notice and for contracts determinable at will, either party may terminate at the close of the day without notice.


  1. A contract of employment of a domestic worker shall not contain a provision that confers a benefit on a domestic worker which is less favourable than any benefit specified in the law and any such contract is void to the extent that it denies a domestic worker the minimum benefits provided in the law.

    Any breach of these rights are enforceable by a petition to the National Labour Commission or an action in court.

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