Higher pay rates for domestic workers

Cape Town – The minimum wage for South Africa’s domestic workers, including housekeepers, gardeners, nannies and domestic drivers, will be increased from December 1 2016, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant announced on Monday. 

The latest wage hike will be applicable until November 30 2017, the minister said in a statement, adding that this wage adjustment is in line with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act which is regulated through the Sectoral Determination. 

According to the new rules, domestic workers who work more than 27 ordinary hours per week will earn: 

- R2 422.54 per month, R559.09 per week or R12.42 per hour in metropolitan areas, which represents an 8.2% increase from the previous year; 

- R2 205.17, R508.93 per week or R11.31 per hour in non-metropolitan areas. This is a 10% increase from the previous year. 

CALCULATE: Are you paying your domestic worker enough?

In addition, domestic workers who work less than 27 hours per week will receive: 

- a R14.54 hourly rate, a R392.58 weekly rate and a R1 701.06 monthly rate in major metropolitan areas, which represents an 8.2% increase; 

- a R13.53 hourly rate, R360.54 weekly rate and R1 562.21 monthly rate in non-metropolitan areas, which is a 10% increase.

The latest wage adjustment comes as government and labour are discussing wage inequality and the introduction of a national minimum wage.

READ: The flaw in the minimum wage debate

In August this year, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed a seven-member panel in his capacity as chair of the Committee of Principals of the National Economic Development Council (Nedlac) to deliberate on an appropriate national minimum wage. 

However, economists and business disagree on the desirability of a national minimum wage. Some argue it will reduce poverty and boost economic growth, while others believe it will hamper job creation in South Africa.

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