The department of labour published a new regulation for minimum wages for domestic workers which come into effect on 1 January 2018.
The labour minister Mildred Oliphant amended section 56(1) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, No. 75 of 19. These amendments were made ahead of the national minimum wage bill coming into effect in May next year. This bill will, however, mean that domestic workers, farm workers and workers on the Expanded Public Works Programme may be paid less.
The national minimum wage agreement, which was signed by deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa in February sets the rate at R20 per hour, which is R3 200 for a 40-hour week. Domestic workers will earn around 75% of this, depending on the location where they work.
The national minimum wage panel report to the deputy president, which consisted of organised labour, business, community and government suggested a “longer phase-in time” for “vulnerable workers” because they are poorly organised and this could result in disemployment.
Domestic workers who work 27 hours or more a week will earn at least R13,05 an hour if they work in metropolitan municipalities, built up areas and suburbs. This will mean domestic workers in these areas must earn at least earn R587,40 a week and R2 545,22 a month. Those who work for less than 27 hours a week, will be paid R15,28 an hour, R412,60 a week and R1 787,80 a month.
For domestic workers who live in other parts of the country who work for 27 hours or more a week they will earn R11,89 an hour which equates to R534,91 a week or R2 317,75 a month. If they work for less than 27 hours a week in these areas they will earn R14,03 an hour or R378,83 a week or R1 641,48 a month.