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Domestic workers get decent pay

Written by Staff Reporter
The increase in domestic workers’ annual wages that came into effect on 1 December 2014 has brought some much-needed relief to domestic workers and is a sign of government’s commitment to create decent work.

The new sectoral determination for domestic workers, announced by Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant last year, prescribes that for year one (1 December 2014 to 30 November 2015) minimum wages for domestic workers who work more than 27 ordinary hours per week will be increased as follows:

  • Area A (those in major metropolitan areas) R10.59 hourly rate, R476.68 weekly rate and R2 065.47 monthly rate.
  • Area B (those not covered in Area A) R9.30 hourly rate, R418.32 weekly rate and R1 812.57 monthly rate.

From 1 December 2014 to 30 November 2015 the minimum wages for domestic workers who work 27 ordinary hours per week or less in major metropolitan areas is R12.40 hourly rate, R334.74 weekly rate and R1 450.33 monthly rate.

For those who do not work in major metropolitan areas the hourly rate is R296.35 and the monthly rate is R1284.09.

In the second and third year of the sectoral determination (1 December 2015 to 30 November 2016 and 1 December 2016 to 30 November 2017), minimum wages will be increased by using the previous year’s minimum wage plus Consumer Price Index (CPI) (Lowest quintile) plus an additional 2,5 per cent for Area A. The CPI is an inflation target measure that tracks the rate of change in the prices of goods and services purchased by consumers.

For Area B however, minimum wage increases will be pegged at the previous year's minimum wage plus CPI (lowest quintile) plus an additional 4.5 percent for year two and the previous year's minimum wage plus CPI (lowest Quintile) plus an additional 3.5 per cent for year three (December 2016 to 30 November 2017).

The increase is a result of a consultation process to review the current threeyear cycle of sectoral determination advising minimum wages and conditions of employment for the sector that was conducted by the Department of Labour in June 2014.

In addition to the national public hearings, the Department of Labour also held izimbizo with domestic workers in various provinces in 2013 to get a better understanding of the Domestic Worker Sector and how to deal with problems facing the sector.

The increase will help protect vulnerable workers who are exposed to possible exploitation, where they work in organisations where trade unions are absent and where workers are not covered by regulating mechanisms.

The department aims to create a decent work environment to ensure that domestic workers have the same rights as other workers.

Area 1 December 2015 to 30 November 2016 1 December 2016 to 30 November 2017
Area A Previous year’s minimum wage + CPI + 2,5 per cent Previous year’s minimum wage + CPI + 2,5 per cent
Area B Previous year’s minimum wage + CPI + 4,5 per cent Previous year’s minimum wage + CPI + 3,5 per cent

For information visit: www.labour.gov.za