The Association of Household Employee Managers (AHEM) Nigeria has charged employers to treat their domestic staff with respect. This was part of the resolution from their 2-day conference where over 30 domestic workers also received awards for their commitment, hard work, and outstanding services to their various employers who nominated them.
The inaugural conference brought together employers, domestic staff, and experts in different areas of the domestic and business community as they discussed salient issues affecting the industry. President of AHEM Nigeria and convener of the conference, Elizabeth Ajetunmobi had promised that the event would be one-of-a-kind and it indeed lived up to its promise.
Conference speakers cut across various industries, interests, and expertise, with insightful and well-attended sessions and panel discussions. Speakers included keynote speaker and founder of House of Tara, Tara Fela Durotoye; pioneer coordinator of the Lagos State’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team(DSVRT), Titilayo Vivour Adeniyi; arbitrator & mediator, Chinwe Odigboegwu; business coach, Biola Adediran; and accredited attorney-mediator, Fola Alade (Esq) to mention a few.
There was also a panel session on improving existing practices from an employer’s perspective. The session was moderated by media personality Ayo Mairo-Ese, featuring AHEM VP, Emem Nwogwugwu; Kelechi Hadassah Abiri, Yemi Lijofi, and Bukky Maiye. Emem Nwogwugwu harped on the importance of communication for a healthy relationship between domestic staff and family members.
“Communication has to do with instilling the right skills and competencies necessary for enjoying all the privileges and maximizing all the opportunities that come with having a domestic staff,” she said.
One of the highlights of the show was the panel discussion made up entirely of a cross-section of domestic staff. Moderated by the day 2 conference compere, Omotunde Adebowale-David popularly known as Lolo1, the domestic employees shared their experiences with work-life balance. It was also a chance for employers to get feedback from their staff on issues that were important and areas where they were falling short.
AHEM President, Elizabeth Ajetunmobi expressed her excitement at how the conference turned out, noting that it would encourage other stakeholders to come forward and ensure that the domestic work industry is standardized.
“It is important we are having this event today because we need to change the way things are being done in the domestic staffing industry in Nigeria”.
She also admonished employers to treat their staff with respect in order to enhance productivity.
“We encourage you to recognize the rights of your domestic staff and make a pledge to treat them better. This will not only help them become more productive but will also help them take better care of the people and things that mean so much to you.”
In honor of the conference, AHEM Nigeria also released a free e-book “A Guide to Hiring the Right Domestic Staff” to support struggling employers with tips on how to recruit domestic employees without stress.