Domestic Workers

What exactly are the rules and regulations regarding domestic workers?

Approximately 1 to 1.5 million South Africans work as domestic workers, gardeners and child minders. These days, there are far more rules and regulations regarding domestic worker than in the past. In present day, they are now considered regular workers just like a chartered accountant, or doctor would be. Therefore, they are entitled to the same benefits and answer to the same rules as anyone else. But what exactly are these benefits and rules?

General rules:
The general rules of a workplace now apply to domestic workers. The same notice period and termination of employment applies to domestic workers as normal workers. Transport allowances and bonuses are not specified and are therefore open for negotiation between parties. Working hours, public holidays, annual, sick maternity and family responsibility leave and deductions all apply to domestic workers the same way that they would to anyone else.

Wages are calculated according to a table and take working hours into account. It also takes various areas into account. Domestic workers are entitled to a payslip which includes all regular information as any normal payslip. Deductions are permitted to be included; however, certain deductions are not permitted. These include; breakages, damages, clothing and training.

Normal termination procedures apply to domestic workers. On termination of services, the employer must give the domestic worker a certificate of service.

Should you provide your domestic worker with housing, it needs to fulfil certain criteria. It needs to be weatherproof and in good condition, it has to have at least one window and door that can be locked, and it needs to be fitted with a toilet and shower/bath, or it has to have access to another bathroom. A deduction of no more than 10% may be taken for accommodation.

UIF Contribution
If your domestic worker works for you for more than 24 hours a month, they must be registered for UIF. It is the responsibility of the employer to register their domestic worker with UIF and ensure that payment is made. Monthly contributions are 2% of the worker’s wage. If a domestic worker is employed by more than one employer, each employer must register the domestic worker separately and ensure payment is made.

It is important to be up to date with the regulations regarding domestic workers. As they are now considered normal workers just like everyone else, the same rules apply to them and the same consequences can apply to you should you not follow procedure.

For more information on tax and UIF, contact Professional Accountants & Tax Consultants and we can help you and answer any questions you might have.