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Domestic workers take home more pay from January

But still at a ‘depressingly low’ level.

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, Thembinkosi Mkalili 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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As a means of elevating the joblessness of the marginalized. The government should allow domestic worker pat to fully tax deductible. More people will employ domestic workers. imagine I from area a getting a tax relief of R30534,60 from having employed someone.

More chances of falling pregnant!…SARS has a R50BN hole in its revenue plus the free education which nobody seems to know how much..possible another R20BN..ESKOM is said to be “belly-up”..SAA has crash landed and by the way your medical aid credits go from March…sugar taxes kick in vat will go up….more to follow.

Good idea though.

Naah, Boomo. The ANC always have plans. Now I have a better plan. Listen up, britches. The problem is poverty amongst domestic workers and we need to eradicate this state of indigency with extreme prejudice. After all R15 per hour is shameful and the ANC is said to be the champion of the poor???. Why don’t we just legislate a minimum wage of R100 per hour? Transport, housing, food, utilities etc cost a lot so R100 will be much better. This is not as much as California or Australia but R100 per hour will be R216k per annum and one can certainly live, albeit not extravagantly, on such a wage. Certainly the declared sectoral determination would obviate any inequality amongst DWs. Without a doubt. “DW” would be a sought after career.

Now that we have eliminated poverty amongst domestics the likes of Oliphant and Frye can pontificate about getting real jobs in the real world where they create wealth for their fellow man rather than redistributing and or consuming that which has been confiscated by force or threat of force.

I never used a DW but jip in agreement with Richard. Strange that we still have unemployment levels our ANC govament promised 6 mil new jobs so the good news is this is just short term solution…..Mind you by the rate they shed jobs they should increase this to 18 mil new jobs so that we can choose which jobs we want to do. Problem solved! No need for minimum wage just create jobs that pay R1mil a month so end of poverty! Come on ANC we know you can!!!

Always thought this will be a great vehicle to encourage employment. However, I think reality in our country is that those who want domestic workers already have them, so the marginal gain in employment (those for which could “Just” not afford Domestic Workers) will not outweigh the total tax loss to the government.

What I do believe can be a great idea is that you adjust it slightly to read that “anything you pay over and above the minimum wage” is tax deductible.

That will show governments intent to achieve living wages.

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