New domestic workers Laws

What is the minimum wage for domestic workers and nannies 2018?

The minimum wage below will only be valid until the new national minimum wage comes into effect on 1 May 2018. The domestic worker sector’s wage is set on 75% of the new national wage of R20 per hour, and so the new minimums will be R2,625 per month or R15 per hour.

Domestic workers Laws

Payslips: Every domestic worker should receive a written payslip on payday setting out the employee’s details, the ordinary and overtime hours worked during the payment period, the applicable rate of remuneration and any deductions made by the employer.

No deductions may be made from a domestic worker’s pay for breakages, work clothing or meals provided.

If accommodation is provided, no more than 10% of the worker’s monthly salary may be deducted as an accommodation allowance.

A domestic worker must be given a meal break of at least 30 minutes after every 5 hours of continuous work.

Overtime: A domestic worker may not be required to work more than 15 hours of overtime in any week. Any overtime worked must be remunerated with additional pay or leave.

Public holidays: If a public holiday falls on a day on which a domestic worker would usually work, the employer must pay the domestic worker for the day, even if the domestic worker doesn’t work that day.

A domestic worker can only be called upon to work on a public holiday if there is a written agreement allowing for this. Such work must be remunerated by double pay.

Annual leave: Every domestic worker is entitled to 3 weeks annual leave.

Employment Agreement

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act requires employers to conclude a written employment agreement with their domestic workers, gardeners and childminders (including drivers of children) and those who look after the sick, aged or disabled in private homes.

The only way to clarify what each party can expect and have to contribute to the relationship is by signing a Domestic Employment Agreement prior to employment. This work contract sets out the duties, hours and place of work, wages, overtime, leave and termination of services for a clear understanding of the terms of employment.

South African Department of Labour

A basic contract with your housekeeper should include the following:

Employer and worker details
Employer’s full name
Employer’s address
Employment details (nanny or domestic worker or gardener, etc)
Place/s of work
Date of employment
Working hours and days of work
Payment details
Salary or wage, or the rate and method of calculating wages
Rate for overtime
Any other cash payments
Any payments in kind and their value
Frequency of payment
Any deductions
Value and payment for any food or accommodation.
Leave details
Any leave to which the worker is entitled
Notice/contract period
Period of notice required
Period of contract
This document must be updated if any details change. See more on the Department of Labour’s website.

Click here to download a sample contract

An employer must keep a copy of this document while the worker is employed, and for 3 years thereafter. If a worker is unable to understand the contract, the employer is to explain the information in a way that the worker understands.

Whether employing someone for a few days or per month, a work contract is the only responsible and fair way to give a domestic worker the security she needs to perform her job. While tending to the legalese might not come naturally, it’s essential to establish a happy work environment.

It is essential reading for employers of domestic workers, domestic workers, au pairs, gardeners and persons employed by a household to drive a motor-vehicle.

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