Domestic worker wage increase welcome

By Drum Digital
26 November 2014

The decision to increase domestic workers' annual wages, in line with the new minimum wage, showed the ANC's commitment to improve the lives of lowly paid workers, the party said.

The decision to increase domestic workers' annual wages, in line with the new minimum wage, showed the ANC's commitment to improve the lives of lowly paid workers, the party said on Tuesday.

"The challenge facing low income workers is the pressure of coping with the ever-increasing cost of living," African National Congress national spokesman Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.

"This major advance in the sectoral minimum wage will go a long way in addressing exploitation of workers by those employing them."

The decision must be sustained in all labour sectors to help close the gap between those in the top bracket, and the lowest level of earners.

Earlier on Tuesday, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant's office announced the wage adjustment.

"The new sectoral determination of domestic workers starting from 1 December 2014 to 30 November 2015 prescribes the minimum wages for domestic workers who work more than 27 ordinary hours per week," spokesman Mokgadi Pela said in a statement.

This was in accordance with laws protecting workers in sectors where they were exposed to potential exploitation, where worker organisations and trade unions were absent, and workers were not covered by regulating mechanisms.

In major metropolitan areas, domestic workers have an hourly rate of R10.95, the weekly rate is R476.68 and the monthly rate is R2065.47.

Domestic workers who do not work in major metros have an hourly rate of R9.30, weekly R418.32, and monthly R1812.57.

Minimum wages for domestic workers from December 1, 2014 to November 30, 2015, working 27 ordinary hours per week or less were also adjusted.

For those in major metropolitan areas the hourly rate is R12.40, weekly R334.74 and monthly R1450.33.

Those not working in major metros would receive an hourly rate of R10.98, weekly R296.35, and monthly R1284.09.

This implementation was the last year in the current three-year sectoral determination cycle.

"While the jury is still out on whether sectoral determinations will continue in future, a new debate has started on the possibility of introducing the national minimum wage in South Africa, especially for the vulnerable," Pela said.

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