MINIMUM WAGE – FOR DOMESTIC WORKERS IN 2018

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MINIMUM WAGE  – ANNUAL AMENDMENT TO THE SECTORIAL DETERMINATION 7 – DOMESTIC WORKER WAGES

minimum wage - imageApart from the obligation to have a proper contract in place, the Sectorial Determination 7 is amended each year to announce the new minimum wage that must be paid to domestic workers in South Africa.  The Sectorial Determination referring to domestic workers is quite progressive, and was one of the first sectors that wrote a minimum wage into law.

HOW DO I KNOW WHAT THE MINIMUM WAGE IS FOR MY DOMESTIC WORKER?

The country is divided into two main sentra – major metropolitan areas (cities and large towns), and rural areas.  The metropolitan areas are referred to as Area A.  The remaining areas are referred to as Area B, or even as “areas not mentioned in Area A”.

Different minimum hourly and monthly rates are applicable to the two areas.  Furthermore, the rates are applicable to workers who work between 28 and 45 hours a week, and those who work 27 hours or less a week (basically three 9-hour days or less a week).

It is important to note that these published figures are the MINIMUM rates payable.  Domestic employees are entitled to yearly increases, at this moment fixed at 8% on 1 November each year.

Example of working out minimum wages:

For the purpose of these examples, overtime will not be considered.

You live in Johannesburg.  A quick look-up here will confirm that you are in Area A.  You employ a gardener for two days a week, working 9 hours a day.  That is two x 9 hour days, ie, 18 hours.   The latest wages for 2018 state that Area A has a minimum hourly wage of R15.28 for workers that work up to 27 hours a week. Therefore, 18 hours x R15.28 = R275.04 per week, or R137.52 per day.  The wage can be paid daily, weekly or monthly, depending on the written contract between the employer and the gardener.

Another example:

You live in Bitterfontein.  A look-up here will show that it falls outside the metropolitan (city) areas, thus Area B.  You employ a domestic worker full time, working 5 days a week.  As the worker is employed full time, the minimum monthly rate of R2 317.75 applies (Area B, worker working between 28 hours and 45 hours a week).

Final example:

You live in Port Elizabeth.  It is a metropolitan area, thus Area A.  You employ a nanny for five half days to look after the kids while you work.  The nanny works from 08:00 to 13:00, thus 5 hours per day.  Five days x 5 hours = 25 Hours, you use Area A rates for workers working 27 hours per week or less.  The minimum hourly rate for Area A is R15.28.  So, 25 hours x R15.28 = R382.00 per week, or R76.40 per day.

A HA – I AM PAYING MY DOMESTIC WORKER MORE THAN THE NEWLY PROMULGATED RATES

minimum wage - domestic workerReading your minds…. No, you may not reduce the person’s wage down to the minimum published rate for no good reason.  If traveling and other costs incurred to get to work are considered, then these minimum rates are a travesty.  Rather consider the new rates, and add to it a fair amount to provide your trusted domestic, gardener, nanny, driver, etc, with a decent income to look after their families.

Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, all domestic workers are entitled to an eight percent increase at the beginning of November every year, irrespective of whether they are currently being paid the minimum wage or more than the minimum wage.

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