Changes coming for domestic workers in South Arica from March – what you should know

Changes coming for domestic workers in South Arica from March – what you should know

The Department of Employment and Labour will hold a seminar on Saturday (19 February) to reflect on the regulatory changes for domestic workers in South Africa.

It comes after the government introduced a number of additional employment protections and ahead of the new minimum wage which will take effect from March.

The event also forms part of the department’s Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES) branch to educate stakeholders on labour laws and ensure compliance. “The domestic worker’s sector has long been identified as a problematic sector when it comes to compliance with labour laws, with workers still paid lower wages,” the department said.

It said that it has conducted several inspections of employers operating in the sector. “The inspections were to determine the employers’ compliance with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, enforcement of the National Minimum Wage Act – and employers are still found wanting when it comes to compliance.”

The outcome of inspections has indicated a need for an advocacy session, the department said.

Some of the areas where non-compliance is identified in the sector include:

  • Unlawful deductions;
  • Underpayment of national minimum wage;
  • Non-compliant written particulars of employment (contracts);
  • Long hours of work and non-registration to the Unemployment Insurance Fund and Compensation for Occupation Injuries and Diseases Act.

New minimum wage

Of particular focus will be the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Act. The seminar comes on the back of an announcement by Employment and Labour minister Thulas Nxesi, that the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for each ordinary hour worked had been increased from R21.69 to R23.19 for the year 2022 with effect from 1 March 2022.

Of historic importance is that the National Minimum Wage for Domestic Workers has for the first time falling in line with other sectors.

Injuries at work 

As of February 2021, domestic workers qualify for benefits under the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.

Domestic workers who are injured at work can claim from the Compensation Fund, and the dependents of a domestic worker who died as a result of injuries incurred while on duty will also be able to claim.

It is also mandatory for employers of domestic workers and employees to contribute to the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

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