The latest data from Statistics South Africa reveals a decline of 259,000 domestic workers in employment in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter of the year. GroundUp Media reports that under Covid-19 lockdown level 5, which came into force on 26 March, domestic workers were required to stay home and not work, unless they lived with their employers. While employers were encouraged to pay workers who could not work, not all employers did so, and many domestic workers lost their jobs during that time with the Assistant General Secretary of the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union saying many domestic workers have told the union that they were “dismissed over the telephone without any reason”. Total employment in private households, which includes gardeners, private security guards, butlers, pool cleaners and drivers, as well as domestic workers, meanwhile dropped by 311,000 between the first and second quarters.