Domestic worker new minimum wage – 3 December 2018

The Domestic worker sector’s minimum wage is applicable to employees in a private household, such as:

  • domestic workers
  • gardeners
  • employees that take care of children, the sick, the aged, the frail or the disabled
  • domestic workers supplied by employment services

Take note: a domestic worker employed on a farm, where primary or secondary agricultural work is performed, is regarded as a farm worker and does not resort under the Domestic worker sector.

The new minimum wage for the Domestic worker sector came into effect on 3 December 2018 and is as follows:

  • Area A – Click here for the complete list of municipalities that resort under Area A:
    • R13.69 per hour for employees who work more than 27 ordinary hours per week.
    • R16.03 per hour for employees who work 27 hours per week or less.
  • Area B – all areas not specified in Area A:
    • R12.47 per hour for employees who work more than 27 ordinary hours per week.
    • R14.72 per hour for employees who work 27 ordinary hours per week or less.

Employers must however take note of the National Minimum Wage Act that came into effect on 1 January 2019, which requires all employers to pay at least the national minimum wage. This amount is set at R20.00 per hour for all employees in South Africa, irrespective of the industry in which they are employed. The Domestic worker sector has been given an exemption to only pay 75% of the national minimum wage, which calculates to R15.00 per hour. This exemption is valid for 2 years, after which all employers must pay at least the national minimum wage as announced.

This means that form 1 January 2019 every employee in the Domestic worker sector must receive at least R15.00 per hour as per the national minimum wage, unless the industry’s minimum wage is higher, as in the case of employees who work 27 ordinary hours per week or less in Area A. These employees must receive R16.03 per hour.

The close working relationship between employer and employee that is intrinsic to the Domestic worker sector, creates unique challenges and risk for the employer.

Contact the LWO for any advice and/or assistance in this regard. We are available 24/7.

Not an LWO member yet? Take a look at our membership packages.

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