You will have to pay your domestic worker more from December

The department of labour has increased the minimum wage payable to domestic workers – which will kick in from 1 December 2015 until 30 November 2016.

Department minister Mildred Oliphant announced that in terms of Sectoral Determination 1: the minimum wages will be adjusted upwards for employees in Area A and Area B.

Area A refers to large metropolitan municipalities and built up areas and suburbs – Area B is all other municipalities. The full list can be found here.

Here are the new minimum wages:

Domestic workers who work 27 ordinary hours a week or more

Minimum Area A Area B
Hourly Rate R11.44 R10.23
Weekly Rate R514.82 R460.15
Monthly Rate R2 230.70 R1 993.82

Domestic workers who work less than 27 ordinary hours a week

Minimum Area A Area B
Hourly rate R13.39 R12.07
Weekly Rate R361.50 R325.98
Monthly Rate R1 566.35 R1 412.49

To put the minimum figures into perspective, research from the School of Economic and Business Sciences at the University of Witwatersrand showed that the estimated cost of essential food and non-food items needed to survive is R1,319 for one person – and R5,276 for a household of four.

Previous research showed that as many as 45% of workers are paid below the established minimum wage.

It is only the minimum wages that will increase, and is not a legislated general wage increase.

Employers of domestic workers who already pay those workers above the new legislated minimums are under no obligation to increase their workers’ wages.

More on South Africa

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You will have to pay your domestic worker more from December