The last two years have brought a huge challenge to social protection systems around the world as the pandemic hit and shed light to the need of strengthening social insurance policies to protect workers against shocks that affected their livelihoods.

We look at the case of South Africa’s Unemployment Insurance Fund (or UIF) and Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (better known as TERS) to analyze how these policies were implemented to reach domestic workers, what went wrong, what went right, the challenges ahead and what learnings this might bring to help us think about new insurance schemes that can protect informal workers.

To help us understand and navigate the UIF-TERS case we invited two guests. First, I talked to Amy Takié, Co-Founder at Izwi Domestic Workers Alliance, a network of domestic workers in Johannesburg, where Amy advises domestic workers on their labour rights, supports them in accessing justice and on their advocacy efforts.

The second guest is Myrtle Witbooi, general secretary of the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union (SADSAWU) and president of the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF). Myrtle will provide us with an account from the domestic workers’ perspective.

*Our theme music is Focus from AA Aalto (Creative Commons)



> Joint Statement: Impact of COVID19 on millions who work informally in South Africa -

> WIEGO - Informal Work in South Africa and COVID-19: Gendered Impacts and Priority Interventions -

> Izwi - Domestic workers pay a heavy price for employers’ non-compliance with labour law -

> Op-ed - Domestic workers hung out to dry during lockdown, by Amy Tekié

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