Can you afford the new minimum wage for your domestic worker?

Can you afford the new minimum wage for your domestic worker?

The minimum wage of domestic workers and farm workers has been increased by approximately 9,6%.

Domestic worker
Domestic worker/ iStock

Statistics show that South Africa has approximately one million domestic workers. 

According to Business Insider, the number of domestic workers in the country increased in the second quarter of 2022.

Even though thousands of men and women support their families with salaries earned from doing domestic and farm work, sadly, many of them are underpaid. 

Over the past years, government has been trying to rectify this by setting a yearly National Minimum Wage (NMW).  

READ: Minimum domestic worker wage increases to R3,700 per month

In its latest attempt, the Department of Labour has announced a 9,6% increase in the minimum wage. This will see full time domestic and farm workers taking home at least R4,000 a month.

"The minimum wage of R23,19 per hour will increase to R25,42 per hour (an increase of approximately 9,6%). The new minimum sets a new baseline across all sectors, with a few exceptions," reads a statement on Labour Wise's website. 

READ: Minimum wage set to increase from 1 March

The new NMW will come into effect at the beginning of next month. 

"The national minimum wage (NMW), as well as minimum wages in some other sectors, will increase with effect from 1 March 2023."

The department has warned against deducting money from wages in order to cover benefits like providing food and accommodation.

"Employers are reminded that the way that they structure a remuneration package is restricted. The NMW excludes allowances that are paid to enable employees to work (such as transport and equipment), or payment in kind (such as board or accommodation)," reads the statement. 

READ: SA Labour Unions set to have discussions over minimum wage

The government has also stated that employers cannot pay employees less than the minimum wage as a result of providing bonuses and tips. 

"One cannot argue that you pay an employee less than the minimum wage because you contribute to their uniform or provide them with meals," states the website. 

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Image courtesy of iStock/ @@AndreyPopov

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