Domestic workers to earn more from December 3. Picture: REUTERS
Domestic workers to earn more from December 3. Picture: REUTERS

The department of labour has announced that the latest increase for domestic workers came into effect on December 3. This is how it will affect employers' pockets.

According to the new rates, domestic workers working in Area A (bigger metropolitan areas) who work more than 27 ordinary hours per week must be paid a minimum of R13.69 per hour. Workers who work fewer than 27 hours per week, must be paid a minimum of R16.03 per hour.

A domestic worker who works 45 hours per week will now earn about R2,669.24 a month.

A domestic worker is a gardener, driver or person who looks after children, the aged, sick, frail or disabled in a private household.

Domestic workers who work in areas outside of the big metropolitan areas, must be paid minimum of R12.47 per hour when they work for more than 27 ordinary hours per week. This will amount to approximately R2,431.97 a month for domestic workers who work 45 ordinary hours per week.

Those who work 27 hours or less per week must be paid a minimum of R14.72 per hour.

Until the national minimum wage kicks in — which was set to come into effect in May —  employers need to stay compliant with the minimum wage and increase the amounts they currently pay domestic workers.

According to Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr director and national practice head Aadil Patel, and associate in the employment practice Tamsanqa Mila, the latest amendment will be offset by the introduction of the National Minimum Wage Bill.

The bill has been approved by the cabinet and tabled in parliament. In terms of the bill, initially the minimum wage for domestic workers will be R15 per hour, higher than the current determined hourly rate of R13.69 for Area A and R12.47 for Area B for domestic workers working more than 27 ordinary hours per week.

According to the department of labour, “all wages for domestic workers during the period of the [national minimum wage] will be set at R15 for both local (Area B) and greater metropolitan (Area A) areas. However, the wages for domestic workers in local and rural areas who work 27 ordinary hours per week or less, will be slightly over the R15 per hour proposed by the [national minimum wage]”.