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How much do you pay your Domestic Worker?

30 Aug 2018 FAMILY

By Motlagae Konyana

Most households require help and domestic workers/helpers are employed to help with taking care of the children and to also help with the up keep of the house.  But do you pay your domestic worker what she deserves to be paid? Are you paying Aunty or Angelina enough so that she can lead her household while she is also taking care of your home?  

6.8% of the employed South African population are domestic workers.  These are women and men who are employed to help you take care of some of your household needs. Your domestic worker is the second-in-command in your house when it comes to the chores and errands – they know some of the most intimate parts of your house.  Yet many employers don’t pay their domestic workers enough.  Even though she takes care of your valuable assets, most domestic workers are ill-treated and abused by their employers.  

The domestic worker sector’s wage in South Africa is set on 75% of the new national wage of R20 per hour, and so the new minimums will be R2, 625 per month or R15 per hour. However the minimum wage is the very bare minimum. It only covers the employer legally because you are within the law. However morally, it is impossible for anyone to live on such a low income.  The traveling costs to your house could well be approximately R2000 per month and Aunty would be spending all of her wages on transportation only, which means she wouldn’t be able to feed her family or even educate her children.  

Many employers are still breaking the law and are not informed when it comes to some of the relationships between them and their domestic workers.  Most employers don’t consult the labour laws regarding remuneration for their domestic worker, they ask friends and families about the going rate. They don’t even consider the different areas as the pricing does differ based on the areas. 

A recent survey of Afropolitans showed that many employers are still in the dark in terms of how much they should pay Aunty at home; it also revealed that the domestic worker takes care of children and they don’t know how to swim or even know how to use a first aid kit.  Most domestic workers are not registered with UIF – Unemployment Insurance Fund,– as they don’t have the correct documentation.  However, the survey also shows that Afropolitans do add benefits for their domestic workers such as hospital plan, medical aid, pampering days, and transportation to their respective homes.  

Do you think you pay your domestic worker enough for all the hard work they do for your household? Tweet us using #KayaOnline