With AHEM, stakeholders seek reform of domestic staffing industry
In light of several irregularities and unpleasant stories making the rounds regarding the domestic staffing industry in recent times, a group of concerned stakeholders have decided to come together to create structure, that would regularise and sanitise the industry, as well as chart a positive way forward to stem said irregularities and ugly practices.
Coming together under the aegis of the Association of Household Employee Management (AHEM), the group recently held its inaugural meeting via zoom.
Speaking with The Guardian, Elizabeth Ajetunmobi of Aymie Staffing Solutions, who emerged president at the meeting, said the association was borne out of the need to establish structure and organisation in the area of human resources and development, specifically for domestic staff.
Issues raised at the meeting include processes and guidelines for staff training on housekeeping, childcare and cooking, background and medical checks, conflicts resolution, underage domestic abuse, need for identity and database management and so on for which solutions will be proffered in subsequent months.
In attendance were over 50 founders and representatives of domestic staffing agencies, nanny agencies, as well as individual agents. Exco officials elected include Ajetunmobi as president, Emem Nwogwugwu of LaPax Life Project as vice president, Barbara Oriawe of Helppointe Ltd emerged secretary, Mary Okoh of Didion Concerns emerged program coordinator whilst Jennesse Haaruna of Safety Africa was elected publicity officer.
Speaking on the benefits of joining AHEM, Ajetunmobi said the vision of the association is three-pronged: “Improved capability and welfare for household employees, satisfaction and safety of employers, and the growth and regulation of domestic staffing agencies in the country.”
She further stated that members would enjoy professional development, support in obtaining and utilising up to date information and current developments in the domestic industry; recognition and influence, the opportunity and chance to contribute ideas and influence policies in order that the value of the domestic staffing industry in Nigeria continues to grow as well as networking benefits and opportunities with industry colleagues, big players, and leaders of the labour industry and their affiliates outside the country.
The newly elected excos charged attendees to uphold professional standards, obtain standard trainings and certifications for themselves and their staff, as well as put in place processes to improve the quality of household staff released to clients.
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