Coastal Weekly

Wage relief for domestic workers

DOMESTIC workers earning little income will now earn a bit more following a decision taken by the Department of Labour to increase the minimum wage.

The minimum wage came into effect on December 3, forcing employers to follow the new prescribed labour law.

Domestic workers who work more than 27 ordinary hours per week will earn not less than R13.69 an hour, or R2669.24 monthly.

In metropolitan cities, wages will be adjusted to R14.72 an hour and R1721.81 monthly for employees who work less than 27 hours a week.

The minimum wage adjustment is in line with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act which is regulated through the Sectoral Determination.

According to the report, domestic workers are by law classified as vulnerable, hence the sectoral determination governing minimum wage and conditions of employment.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement: “We have gathered here to declare that from January 1 next year, no worker may be paid below the national minimum wage. This is a great achievement for the working people of South Africa, who have had to endure generations of exploitation.”

The office of the president said the national domestic wage was a great achievement for the labour movement.

Ramaphosa added: “The national minimum wage should also be seen as an achievement for business, for it demonstrates the commitment of employers to fairer wages and better working conditions. It is a great achievement for a young democracy that is striving to overcome a legacy of poverty and severe inequality.”

A domestic worker who did not want to be named said this increase will mean a lot to her family. “People often take domestic workers for granted. We also have families to feed. I am glad that our wage will be regulated,” she said.

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