Marizka Coetzer
Journalist
2 minute read
14 Jan 2022
5:30 am

Domestic workers could be paid more

Marizka Coetzer

This month, the department of employment and labour announced it was inundated with requests for comment on the proposed higher minimum wage.

Picture: iStock

Domestic workers can look forward to a higher minimum wage following the request by the National Minimum Wage Commission for another increase.

This month, the department of employment and labour announced it was inundated with requests for comment on the proposed higher minimum wage. It confirmed the commission issued a request for written representations on the new proposed minimum wage for South Africa for 2022.

It was expected Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi will update the minimum wage to 100% of the national minimum wage.

Gumtree marketing manager Estelle Nagel said there were currently nearly 2 000 domestic cleaning positions currently listed on the classifieds site.

She said an increase would raise the salary of a domestic worker to R23 per hour, up from R19.09 in 2021 or R3 700 per month (full day, weekday employment).

“More than a quarter of a million domestic workers lost their jobs in the second quarter of 2020 and many lost valuable income during the lockdown.

This can cause some job seekers to throw caution to the wind when it comes
to applying for work, but it’s important to protect yourself and know what your rights are.”

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Nagel added the Gumtree site occasionally encountered job listings below the current minimum wage.

“It’s important for both parties to understand their rights. Unfortunately, some employers take advantage of the desperation of job seekers,” she said.

“Even if the applicant accepts the salary, you can still land in hot water, so don’t pay your staff less than they are due.”

Nagel said employers must remember to apply the basic employment regulations such as overtime, UIF and giving written notice of termination of employment.

She urged domestic workers to be careful when applying for work at private residences. Patricia Maluleka works for three households for about R300 a day.

“It is better working for more than one person because I make more money,” she said.