South Africa: Care Policy Evaluation 2022

South Africa is an upper-middle income country on the tip of the African continent. Despite having a highly developed economy concentrating in providing finance, business, and real estate services, the informal economy still contributes to 27% of South Africa’s GDP. This poses a challenge to the nation when it attempts to pass legislation that protects family caregivers and domestic workers.

Family caregivers are well protected in South Africa. Working women are entitled to 4 months of maternity leave, and extensive nursing and childcare support at the workplace. However, South Africa still stands to improve in the provision of greater flexible working opportunities to family caregivers. South Africa scored 5.93/10.00 for Sub-Index A, positioning it in the “Maturing” index band.

Domestic workers are explicitly covered by labor law in South Africa unless they are independent contractors. As such, domestic workers are protected by legislation that sets minimum working standards and living conditions. Domestic workers are also protected by extensive laws against forced labor. However, South Africa fails to offer migrant domestic workers many legislative protections, which increases the risk of migrant domestic worker exploitation. As such, South Africa scored 6.55/10.00 in Sub-Index A.

Overall, South Africa’s care policies show potential and regard for care-workers. South Africa’s final score on the GCPI is 6.24, ranking it in the “Maturing” index band. To explore South Africa’s care policies in greater detail, you can access South Africa’s country report and technical report here.

Sri Lanka: Care Policy Evaluation 2022

Sri Lanka is a South Asian island nation off the coast of India. Relative to her neighbours in South Asia, Sri Lanka sports relatively higher levels of human development. However, Sri Lanka’s labor law is in need of several amendments in order to further protect family caregivers and domestic workers.

Alongside a minimum 12 week maternity leave provision, Sri Lanka also offers male workers in the state sector 3 days of paternity leave. While such provisions are commendable, they still fall short of the ILO recommended durations. Notably, Sri Lanka legislation also offers generous nursing support at the workplace. However, anti-discrimination legislation must be improved to prevent new mothers from being fired or demoted following their uptake of maternity leave. Further, Sri Lankan law fails to recognize that non-female individuals may act as family caregivers too. As such, Sri Lanka scores 3.73/10.00 in Sub-Index A.

Domestic workers are excluded from labor law in Sri Lanka as they are not commonly included in the definitions of “worker” used by the law. As such, Sri Lanka fails to mandate that domestic workers must be employed with contracts, and given safe and healthy working environments. Given numerous omissions in the protections for domestic workers, Sri Lanka scores 3.12/10.00 in Sub-Index B.

Overall, Sri Lanka scores 3.42 out of 10.00 in the GCPI, placing it in the “Emerging” Index band. A deep-dive into the complexity of Sri Lankan labor law with regard to family caregivers and domestic workers can be found here.

Cambodia’s law leaves domestic workers unseen and unprotected

The most recent estimates suggest that over 240,000 individuals are employed as domestic workers in Cambodia. Yet despite their number, domestic workers remain unprotected by most Cambodian labor laws. In an article published on December 3rd 2021, Dr Anju Mary Paul and Dolphie Bou evaluate Cambodia’s domestic work industry, and expose the limitations of existing legislation regulating the sector. Read the full article published in The Southeast Asia Globe here.