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Employment of Domestic Workers

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Employment of Domestic Workers

There is a Department of Labour law regulating the employment of domestic workers. This law is called a Sectoral Determination for the Domestic Workers’ sector. This means that as an employer of a domestic worker, you need to adhere to the prescribed minimum wages for domestic workers and specified working conditions, such as hours of work, overtime pay, salary increases, deductions, annual leave, sick leave, family responsibility leave and maternity leave, contracts, unemployment insurance etc.

According to the Determination, your domestic worker should not work more than 45 ordinary hours per week – nine hours a day if they work five days or less per week, or more than eight hours a day if they work for more than five days a week. Overtime can only be by mutual agreement and may not be more than 15 hours a week and never more than 12 hours on any day. Overtime is paid at one-and-a-half times the normal wage (or the employee may agree to receive paid time off). They should also receive double pay on Sundays or public holidays.

Employers whose domestic workers live on the property may deduct no more than 10% of their salary for accommodation, providing the accommodation complies with the minimum standards laid down in the legislation and there is access to a bathroom.

If your domestic worker works for you for more than 24 hours in a month, they must be registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

Please be aware that these guidelines are not a complete summary of employment for domestic workers and are by no means legal advice.

For a free copy of a Domestic Workers’ Contract, contact: Pippa Sharratt Coote, Sprout Consulting, 0861 476 9669, pippa@sproutconsulting.co.za.