Your domestic worker is in and out of your home on a daily or weekly basis. This is the person you trust with your children and more often than not, he or she becomes part of your family. It’s only fair then that you should treat him or her with respect and afford them the same financial protection and benefits most employees enjoy. Here is a breakdown of what you need to bear in mind and how you can help as an employer.
Minimum wageThere is a minimum wage for domestic workers under the Labour Act. Note that there is nothing stopping you from paying your domestic worker more! The minimum wage rates are as follows:
If he or she works more than 27 hours a week:
- Minimum hourly rate – R9.63
- Minimum weekly rate – R433.35
- Minimum monthly rate – R1877.70
If he or she works less than 27 hours a week:
- Minimum hourly rate – R11.27
- Minimum weekly rate – R304.29
- Minimum monthly rate – R1318.48
Public holidays Just like everyone else, your domestic worker looks forward to their public holiday and some well-deserved time at home with their family. If he or she only comes in to work a few days a week and one of those days falls on a public holiday, you cannot insist that they come to work. If he or she agrees to work on a public holiday, then you are required to pay double the normal daily rate. You also have the option of asking them to come in on a different day of the week, if they agree to do so. A full-time domestic worker should be paid for public holidays just as your employer pays you a full month’s salary regardless of public holidays.
DismissalIf you are struggling for financial reasons and need to cut back on your domestic worker’s hours or ask them to leave, then you have to follow the correct procedure. This means providing written notice with a valid reason. If he or she cannot read, then you must explain the notice so that they do understand. He or she is entitled to one week’s severance pay for each year of service.
Make the extra effort to recognise the important contribution your domestic worker makes to your life and make sure that he or she is provided for financially. It’s the right thing to do.