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Domestic Worker Information of Interest

As per the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act, 2002 (Act No 4 of 2002). The following occupations are classified as Domestic Workers:

  • Gardener, Driver, a person who looks after children, the elderly, sick, frail or disabled in a private household. Does not include Farm Workers.

What is the Domestic Workers’ Act?

This act specifies working conditions, e.g. hours of work, overtime pay, pay increases, deductions that an employer is allowed to deduct, annual & sick leave. Also the minimum wages – this usually is updated each year in December for the coming year.

The act also lists the urban and non-urban areas for the minimum wages.

Please click here to see the areas and the minimum wages to be paid for the next year.

Hours of Work

As per the act, domestic workers should work no more than 45 hours a week, and not more than 9 hours in a day for 5 day week workers and no more than 8 hours a day if they work more than 5 days a week.

Overtime may not exceed 15 hours per week and not more than 3 hours on any one day. If required to work on a Sunday or a Public Holiday, then they should receive double pay.

Deductions from Wages

If a domestic employee lives on the property, employers may deduct 10% of their salary for rent.

The accommodation must comply with the minimum standards laid down in the legislation as follows:

  • Is weatherproof and in good condition
  • Has a lockable door and at least one window
  • Has a toilet and bath or shower or has access to these facilities elsewhere on the property.

Termination of Service

If the employer wishes to terminate the services of Domestic workers, then the following notice period would apply.

  • If an employee has been in employ for 6 months or less, then 1 weeks’ notice is required.
  • If employed for longer than 6 months then a 4 week notice period is required.
  • Domestic workers are also entitled to severance pay of one week for every completed year of service.
  • Domestic workers are also entitled to 4 months unpaid maternity Leave. (They will be able to claim benefits from the UIF Fund)

All domestic workers should sign an employment contract detailing the above information. They must be registered for UIF with the Department of Labour.

  • 1% of their earnings will be deducted and 1% paid by the employer.
  • This must be paid to the Department of Labour.
  • The only exception to this is if the employee works less than 24 hours in a month.

The services of an employee may not be terminated unless a valid and fair reason exists and fair procedure is followed. This is outlined as per Department of Labour Basic Guide to Termination (Domestic Workers).

Basic Guide for Termination of Domestic Workers:

If Domestic Workers lives in accommodation provided by the employer. The employer must give one month’s notice for the accommodation to be vacated. Alternatively until the contract of employment has been lawfully terminated.

Ensure that all money owing to the employee has paid and properly recorded on a payslip. This includes all wages, allowances, leave due and overtime.