Pay Family Service Providers During Lockdown

Before you decide to withhold the money for the payment of service providers you have employed for the services of your children, yourself or your family think about the implications that may arise.

1. Scholar Transport

Many people have been suggesting that it is perhaps unjustified to pay a full amount for scholar transport owing to the lockdown. I even saw some saying that the provider doesn’t have expenses during the lockdown because they are not driving.

This is such a narrow way of looking at the issue. It is like your employer saying you won’t have any liabilities because you are not required to come to work and therefore you are not entitled to full payment.

This vehicle drives your children to safety every day and often going the extra mile when you are running late in the morning or afternoon to accommodate you. The person who often accommodates you for late payments that are unjustified.

This is a vehicle driven by someone who may not be the owner but an employed driver. So in your wisdom, are you basically saying that the owner should not pay the driver for that month because he has hasn’t worked?

Even if the vehicle is driven by the owner they will not have a payment holiday on the debt they owe on the vehicle. They still need to pay for the service of the vehicle and other requirements. But more importantly this is income they have planned for in the same way that you plan for your salary.

It would be quite selfish that you obtain a full salary and you are expecting the scholar transport providers not to receive full payment.

2. Crèche and Aftercare

Whether the schools close for a week or more, whether the public holiday falls on a week day or weekend, we are still liable for the fees.

This is because you are also paid for your leave days and for public holidays. These institutions employ individuals that dedicate themselves to the education of your children. Individuals (mostly women) that have their own households and are reliant on that income to supplement or meet the needs to their families.

When you decide the school, crèche or aftercare doesn’t deserve to be paid for the month of the lockdown what exactly are you suggesting the employees should do? Where should they get their income from? What should they eat?

People have become very self-absorbed and self-centred and we don’t think about the deeper implications of our actions and non-actions. We forget that as much as we have children and basic needs, so does the people we entrust with the education and safety of our children when we have no other option.

3. Domestic Helpers

My heart goes out to the domestic helpers who work for one or two days a week for certain families and have no means to get to work.

There are so many of them that are going to be told that we can’t pay you because you didn’t work as if it was their choice. These are in the majority of cases highly vulnerable women who are at times treated terribly by other women.

A lot of these domestic employees come from neighbouring SADC counties such as Lesotho and Zimbabwe in particular. They have no other means of generating an income other than through the use of their hands.

The stories one hears from these ladies about the treatment they get are heart-breaking. I know this because I’ve seen my helper dishing food for herself in a plastic plate used for small children because in other households she works at, she’s not allowed to use porcelain plates.

She brings her own disposable plastic spoons because one of the women she works for banned her from using the stainless steel spoons. These are but just some of the abhorrent stories one hears.

How can we then expect people who treat them with such disdain will have the intelligence and the compassion to pay them a full wage for the period of the lockdown?

I implore all of you to have a little compassion and pay these employees because you are the person standing between them and their next meal including the meals of their children and caregivers back at their respective homes.

Imagine what would happen if you were told you can’t get your full salary or at worst that you won’t be paid because you spent the entire month at home. Would your household still function as normal? Would you be happy with your employer?

If not, why subject people with even less resources to that kind of treatment? Why would you deliberately bring devastation upon others?

Be Fair,
Be Reasonable,
Be Considerate,
Be Compassionate.