Labour Laws

What Are Your Rights in South Africa: Domestic Worker Sector

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On 1 September 2002, the Sectoral Determination 7: Domestic Worker Sector in South Africa became effective. The Sectoral Determination applies to the employment of all domestic workers in the Republic of South Africa and established conditions of employment and minimum wages for employees in the Domestic Worker Sector.

The definition of a “Domestic Worker” is any domestic worker or independent contractor who performs domestic work in a private household and who receives, or is entitled to receive pay and includes –

(a) a gardener;
(b) a person employed by a house hold as a driver of a motor vehicle; and
(c) a person who takes care of children, the aged, the sick, the frail or the disabled;
(d) domestic workers employed or supplied by employment services.

Every employer on whom this Sectoral Determination is binding must keep a copy of the Sectoral Determination or an official summary available in the workplace in a place where the domestic worker has access. The Sectoral Determination is binding on domestic workers who work more than 24 hours per month for an employer. However, minimum wages and annual wage increases still apply to domestic workers who work less than 24 hours per month for an employer, even though the Sectoral Determination does not apply to them.

A newly employed domestic worker in South Africa is entitled to a contract of employment and to be issued with a payslip with each wage payment.

A domestic worker
• is entitled to join a Trade Union;
• is entitled to meal intervals;
• is entitled to rest periods;
• is entitled to annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave and family responsibility leave;
• is entitled to paid Public holidays;
• is entitled to paid overtime

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