Aarti Bhana
2 minute read
12 Jan 2018
8:00 am

Domestic workers take home more pay from January

Aarti Bhana

The increased minimum wage is meant to offset the rising costs of living especially for domestic workers.

The Department of Labour has increased the minimum wage for domestic workers.

Minister of Labour, Mildred Oliphant said the increase is a step towards reducing wage differentials across the bigger and smaller metropolitan areas into the same minimum.

The minimum wage for domestic workers can be seen in the table below:

Domestic workers working more than 27 hours/week – a maximum of 45 ordinary hours/week

Area A Area B
Per Hour R13.05 R11.89
Per Week R587.40 R534.91
Per Month R2 544.55 R2 318.37

Domestic workers working a maximum of 27 ordinary hours/week

Area A Area B
Per hour R15.28 R14.03
Per week R412.60 R378.83
Per month R1 787.62 R1 641.38
  • Area A: Bigger metropolitan areas
  • Area B: Local metropolitan areas

The national minimum wage (NMW) figures will be announced and come into effect on May 1. Spokesperson for the labour department, Thembenkosi Mkaliti said the minimum wage for domestic workers is 75% of R20. He said once the NMW kicks in, the minimum wage for domestic workers will set to R15/hour for both bigger (area A) and local (area B) metropolitan areas. Meaning an additional increase. However, domestic workers working 27 ordinary hours a week in both areas A and B, will be receive a minimum wage slightly above R15/hour.

Oliphant said the implementation of the increased minimum wage is also meant to offset the rising costs of living especially for domestic workers, and maintain the current standards of living.

The Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (Spii) was involved in the NMW negotiations. Director, Isobel Frye said that the wage level as set out in the sectoral determination, is “depressingly low”.

“Given the high levels of unemployment that we have, a single wage earner’s income is critically important. I don’t think that anyone would be able to say that those levels for a domestic worker’s salary would in any way be able to meet the needs of people,” said Frye.

“I don’t think that the declared sectoral determination in any way would obviate the inequality,” she added.

Frye said that negotiations are underway to find alternative ways of revenue and to support better payout grants for South Africa’s “vulnerable population”.

These rates will remain in effect until November 30 2018.

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