What to Pay your Domestic Worker

what to pay your domestic workerYou probably know that the South African labour department enforces a minimum rate of remuneration as well as
overtime pay for all full-time and part time domestic workers.

But did you know that different rules of compensation apply to overtime work, work on Sundays, work on Public Holidays, stand-by work, as well as paid annual leave and paid sick leave?

Here are the types of leave and how they affect your domestic worker’s monthly wages.

Overtime: Limits and Wages

  • Normal working hours are limited to 45 hours per week, nine hours per day for a five day work week, and eight hours a day for a six day work week.
  • Overtime work is limited to an additional 15 hours per week, but does not allow work for more than a total of 12 hours on any given day.
  • Any work that can be considered as overtime, must be compensated with a payment that is 150% (or one and a half times) her normal wages.
  • Your domestic worker can also agree to exchange overtime work for time off at 1,5 times the overtime hours.

Work on Sundays

  • While you cannot force your domestic worker to work on a Sunday, she may voluntary choose to do so in exchange for double her daily wages.
  • In cases where your domestic worker ordinarily works on Sundays, she must be paid one and a half (150%) of her ordinary wages.
  • Time-off may also be negotiated in exchange for working on a Sunday.

Work on Public Holidays

  • Work on Public Holidays is voluntary, and must be either be compensated with another day of leave, or double her normal day wages.

Standby Work

  • If you require your domestic worker to be available on stand-by at night for any period between 20:00 and 06:00 the following day, she must be compensated by an allowance of at least R30 per shift.
  • This applies even if your domestic worker is allowed to sleep or rest during this period.

Number of Leave Days

  • Annual leave must be at least 3 weeks per year for full-time domestic workers, or if agreed between you and your domestic worker, one day per 17 days of work, or one hour per 17 hours of work.
  • Employers must grant their domestic annual leave within six months of every 12 month period of consecutive employment.

Sick Leave

  • For every period of 36 months that your domestic worker is under your employment, she is entitled to paid sick leave that is equal to the number of days that she normally works for you over a period of six weeks.
  • For the first six months of her contract, your domestic worker is entitled to one day sick leave (paid) for every 26 days
  • While your domestic worker is entitled to these days of paid sick leave, you are allowed to insist on seeing a medical certificate if she has been absent for more than two consecutive days, or more than twice during an eight-week period.

Maternity Leave

  • Your domestic worker is entitled to at least four consecutive months of maternity leave. Although you are not legally obliged to pay her for this period, you may agree to pay her for the entire period or for a part of it.

Family Responsibility Leave

If your domestic has worked for you for longer than four months and for at least four days per week, she is entitled to take five days of family responsibility leave (paid) during every leave cycle. Family responsibilities that are covered are

  • The birth of her child,
  • When her child is sick,
  • The death of her spouse, life partner, parent, adoptive parent, grandparent, child, adopted child, grandchild or sibling.