Domestic Workers in South Africa: Inclusion Under the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act

After decades of deliberate exclusion from labour laws and social protection in South Africa, domestic workers have slowly been able to taste the fruits of years of laborious fights for recognition, inclusion, and dignity. On 19 November 2020, the Constitutional Court ordered the inclusion of domestic workers in the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA). This marked another victory for domestic workers. Textual inclusion is a relatively easier feat compared to the real challenge of implementation to give effect to such inclusion. The monitoring of implementation and progress of domestic workers who have benefitted from this inclusion has been relatively underexplored. This study explores the progress made in the development of social protection following the recent inclusion of domestic workers in COIDA, together with the implementation of this law. The article uses desktop research to investigate barriers to the development and implementation of social protection in the domestic work sector. The article highlights the importance of multi-stakeholder collaboration, clear policies from the Department of Labour, and the provision of constructive support for employers in the domestic work sector to facilitate compliance with COIDA.