New minimum wage for domestics

Cape Town – The minimum wage of domestic workers will rise from next month, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant announced on Friday.

From December 1, the minimum wage of those working more than 27 hours a week in metropolitan areas will be R9.63 an hour, while that of their rural and small-town counterparts will be R8.30, her department said in a statement.

“[The] minimum wages for domestic workers who work more than 27 hours per week will be… [in] Area A: R9.63 hourly, R433.35 weekly (for a 45-hour week) and R1 877.70 monthly (for a 45-hour week).

“[In] Area B: R8.30 hourly, R373.50 weekly (for a 45-hour week) and R1 618.37 monthly (for a 45-hour week).”

Area A is defined as all urban areas with municipalities, such as Buffalo City, City of Tshwane, Emalahleni (Witbank), Johannesburg, and others. Area B includes those municipalities not included in Area A.

The wage adjustment was part of an annual binding determination made by the minister in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

According to the statement, the minimum wages of domestic workers who work 27 hours or less a week will rise to:

– in Area A, R11.27 hourly, R304.29 weekly (for a 27-hour week) and R1 318.48 monthly (for a 27-hour week); and,

– in Area B, R9.80 hourly, R264.60 weekly (for a 27-hour week) and R1 146.51 monthly (for a 27-hour week.

Last year’s (2012) hourly rate for Area A was R8.95, and for Area B, R7.65.

The department cautioned that in terms of the law, a domestic worker could not be made to work more than 45 hours a week; more than nine hours a day for a five-day work week; or more than eight hours a day for a six-day work week.

“Overtime must be paid at one-and-a-half times the employee’s normal wage, or an employee may agree to receive paid time-off,” it said.