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Domestic Workers Rights

Pay Solutions will register the employer with the Department of Labour as an employer of domestic workers.

We will supply the employer with a contract that needs to be signed by both domestic workers and employer. We will issue payslips for each pay period whether it be monthly, fortnightly or weekly. We will deduct the necessary deductions including UIF and pay this over to the necessary authorities.

In April 2003, domestic workers were included in the UIF act and were required to be registered with Department of Labour.

The following employees are covered by this act.

  • All domestic workers in South Africa
  • Persons employed by employment services
  • Independent contractors
  • A person doing gardening in a private home
  • Persons who look after children, the aged, the sick, the frail or the disabled in a private household
  • A person employed to drive the car taking the children of the household to school

2% of an employee’s earnings have to be paid over to the Department at the end of each month. 1% paid by the employer and 1% deducted from the employee. This means that employers employing domestic workers have to register themselves as employers with the Department of Labour and then register their employees.

Area A – this covers the main municipal areas in South Africa

If domestic workers work less than 27 ordinary hours per week his/her hourly wage is R14.54 per hour.

If domestic workers work more than 27 ordinary hours per week his/her hourly wage is R12.42  per hour.

Area B – All out-lying areas

If domestic workers work 27 ordinary hours or less per week his/her hourly wage is R13.53 per hour.

If domestic workers work more than 27 ordinary hours per week his/her hourly wage is R11.31  per hour.

The actual areas can be found at

Depending on circumstances some domestic workers might work for less than four hours per day.  Should this be the case, he/she should then be paid for four hours worked.

It is illegal to pay lower than the prescribed hourly rate. If you pay more than the prescribed hourly rate you may not reduce the rate because it will be an unfair labour practice.


Domestic workers are allowed to work a maximum of 45 ordinary hours per week

-         Maximum of 9 hours per day if working for 5 days a week

-         Maximum of 8 hours per day if working more than 5 days a week

Overtime & Public Holidays

Overtime is payable when domestic workers work longer than the ordinary hours prescribed per day or per week.  Overtime is calculated at 1.5 times the hourly rate of pay. Sunday overtime is calculated at 2.0 times the hourly rate of pay. If domestic workers work on a public holiday, then they are entitled to an additional day’s pay.

Payment of Salary

Any payment can be in cash, by cheque or direct deposit into an account designated by an employee.  The payment must be given at the workplace, during working hours and in a sealed envelope, which becomes the property of the employee.  A payslip must be given at all times.

The employer must keep the payslips for three years.

Details on pay slip to include:

  • the employer’s name and address;
  • the domestic workers name and occupation;
  • the period in respect of which payment is made;
  • the domestic workers wage rate and overtime rate;
  • the number of ordinary hours worked by domestic workers during that period;
  • the number of overtime hours worked by domestic workers during that period;
  • the number of  hours worked by domestic workers on a public holiday or on a Sunday;
  • the domestic workers full wage;
  • details of any other pay arising out of the domestic workers employment;
  • details of any deductions made;
  • the actual amount paid to domestic workers.
The following deductions may be made from the Domestic workers salary:
  • Medical insurance
  • Savings
  • Pension fund
  • Trade union subscription
  • Garnishee
  • Rentals
  • Loan or advance (not more than 10% of total wage
  • Accommodation – provide that:
  • The amount is not more than 10%  of the total wage AND
  • The room is weatherproof and in good condition
  • The room has at least one window and door that can be locked
  • The room is fitted with a toilet, a bath/shower or has access to another bathroom

The following may not be deducted from the Domestic Workers Salary

  • Amount greater than the actual remuneration received
  • Breakages (crockery, electrical appliances)
  • Damages (ironing)
  • Meals provided during working time
  • Clothing
  • Work equipment


The employer must issue the domestic worker with written particulars of employment, containing the following information:

  • The full name and address of the employer
  • The name and occupation of the domestic worker, or a brief description of the work for which he/she is employed
  • The place of work, and where he/she is required or permitted to work
  • Date of employment
  • The domestic worker’s ordinary hours of work and days of work
  • The domestic worker’s wage or rate and method of payment
  • The rate of pay for overtime work
  • Any other cash payments he/she is entitled to
  • Any payment in kind he/she is entitled to and the value of payment in kind
  • How frequently wages will be paid
  • Any deductions to be made from wages
  • The leave he/she is entitled to
  • The period of notice required to terminate employment, or if employment is for a specified period, the date when employment is to terminate

Both parties must agree and sign the particulars. The particulars should be reviewed annually.

  • Ordinary working hours = a maximum of 45 hours per week
  • Maximum nine hours per day when working five days
  • Maximum eight hours per day when working more than five days
  • Overtime not more than three hours in any day
  • Not more than 15 hours overtime per week (5 days x 3 hours per day)
  • Standby from 20:00 – 06:00 – payment R20-00 per shift
  • Meal interval of one hour if employee worked continuously for more than five hours
  • Rest periods


The different types of leave an employee is entitled to.


Annual Leave


Three weeks per year/or 1 day for 17 days worked/1 hour for 17 hours worked

Sick Leave

Cycle 36 months = number of days worked during six week period

Maternity Leave

Four consecutive months of unpaid leave

Family Responsibility Leave

Five days per year

Calculation of leave

All employees are entitled to 21 consecutive days leave per annum ( that is Monday to Sunday)

5 Day Workers are entitled to 15 working days per annum.

6 Day Workers are entitled to 18 working days per annum.

Should an employee only work 1 day a week, then the calculation is as follows:

1 x by 52 (52 weeks in the year) = 52 days divide this by 17 because they are entitled to 1 day for every 17 days worked and we get 3.06 days per annum leave entitlement.

This means if the domestic worker works on a Wednesday, she is entitled to 3 Wednesday off (therefore three weeks per annum)


A contract of employment may be terminated only on notice of not less than one week if the domestic worker has been employed for six weeks or less.

Notice of four weeks is required if the domestic worker has been employed for six months or more.

Live-in domestic workers are allowed to stay on the premises for a month (notice period) or may agree to pay for the accommodation.

An employer who has to dismiss an employee due to a change in his/her economic, technological or structural set-up, called operational requirement in the determination is responsible for severance pay to the employee.

Severance pay is payable only, if there was no alternative employment. At least one week’s pay for every completed year of service

On termination of employment an employee is entitled to a certificate of service.

If you need assistance with registering your domestic worker with SARS, UIF payments, or have any contractual queries regarding your domestic worker, contact Pay Solutions today.

Need help with your Domestic Worker Rights? Contact Pay Solutions now!