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MiVoice app helps manage domestic-employee relationships

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Newly launched local mobile app MiVoice aims to help manage domestic employee relationships and ensure both parties legally comply with HR lawsgoverning the employment of domestic workers.

Launched this month by fintech company StratPaythe mobile HR management solution targets domestic employees – from child-minders and domestic workers, to gardeners and drivers, and their employers.

The MiVoice app administers all employment-related tasks, including legal employment contracts, pay slips and UIF payments, and offers smart time and task management features, household safety features, commuter accident insurance and a zero-cost e-wallet to help keep and spend the domestic employee’s salary.

According to StratPay, the unfortunate consequences of COVID-19 led to approximately 250 000 local domestic workers losing their jobs and only 21 000 of them succeeded with UIF claims. This predicament created the opportunity for the company to use its intended mobile wallet to uplift this much-neglected sector of workers.

MiVoice also offers insurance and personal protection services to employers at a premium, which is used to subsidise transactional financial products made available free of charge in the hands of employees.

Hennie Heymans, CEO of StratPay, says the app was conceived in response to evidence that domestic employees are among the most vulnerable employees in SA.

“A work contract protects both the employee and the employer, and most of us wouldn’t dream of accepting a job without a contract. Unfortunately, according to the Western Cape Department of Labour, only 48% of households comply with the laws governing the employment of domestic workers, and as a result, too many domestic workers are exploited by their employers.

“Domestic employee relationships survive on the balance of many pillars, such as scope of work, remuneration, trust, payment on due date, legal requirements, compassion, financial, etc. But, until now, there has been no programme, no blueprint, no financial account and no effort to combine all of these and manage it on an equal footing for people who are sometimes closer than actual family,” says Heymans.

In some dispute instances, the domestic employee is coached by a trade union official to convince the CCMA that the employer is a tyrant who has treated them unfairly, so employers also need to protect themselves, notes Heymans.

He adds that, as the app evolved, it soon became clear it would add convenience as well as protection to domestic employers and employees alike. “The app has truly been designed to make managing household employees easier, better, safer and legally compliant, and we believe it will revolutionise domestic employment relationships in SA.”

Employers are also able to deposit wages into employees’ MiVoice wallets, and they can then make free transfers to bank accounts, make account payments and withdraw cash.

The wallet also offers charge-free airtime, data and electricity purchases, and digital vouchers for selected retailers.

The app is available on both Android and iOS app stores. It is free to download but the wallet and HR facility costs R49 per employee per month, payable by the employers. Domestic employees receive these services free of charge.

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