About Domestic Employment

Who is a Domestic worker

A domestic worker is an employee whose job is wholly or mainly to do domestic work in a household. Gardeners, people employed as drivers of motor vehicles, and people who take care of children, the aged, the sick, and the disabled also fall within the of domestic workers category, including Domestic workers who are employed or supplied by employment services.A farm worker is not a domestic worker.

Who must register with UIF

Based on the Legislation in Section 10, of the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act, all employers who have employees working for them for more than 24 hours need to register with UIF.

Working hours

Normal Hours of Work (excluding overtime)

A domestic worker may not be made to:

  • Work more than 45 hours a week
  • Work more than nine hours per day for a five day work week
  • Work more than eight hours a day for a six day work week.


Your Domestic worker may not work more than 15 hours per week overtime, but also not work more than 12 hours on any given day including overtime.

One and a half times the employee’s normal wage has to be paid when he or she works overtime, or an employee may agree to paid time-off

Official Public Holidays

  • Human Rights day
  • Good Friday
  • Family Day
  • Freedom Day
  • New Years Day
  • Freedom Day
  • Youth Day
  • Day of Reconciliation
  • National Woman’s Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Day of Goodwill
  • Heritage Day


There are different types of leave that an employee should know about. They are the following:

Annual Leave:

Annual leave may not be less than three weeks per year for full-time workers or by agreement, one day for every 17 days worked or one hour for every 17 hours worked.
The leave must be granted not later than six months after completion of the period of 12 consecutive months of employment. The leave may not be granted concurrent with any period of sick leave, nor with a period of notice of termination of the contract of employment.

Sick Leave:

During every sick leave cycle of 36 months an employee is entitled to an amount of paid sick leave equal to the number of days the employee would normally work during a period of six weeks. During the first six months of employment, an employee is entitled to one day’s paid sick leave for every 26 days worked.

The employer is not required to pay an employee if the employee has been absent from work for more than two consecutive days or on more than two occasions during an eight-week period and, on request by the employer, does not produce a medical certificate stating that the employee was unable to work for the duration of the employee’s absence on account of sickness or injury.

Maternity Leave:

The employee is entitled to at least four consecutive months’ maternity leave. The employer is not obliged to pay the domestic worker for the period for which she is off work due to her pregnancy. However the parties may agree that the domestic worker will receive part of or her entire salary/wage for the time that she is off due to pregnancy.

Family Responsibility Leave:

Employees employed for longer than four months and for at least four days a week are entitled to take five days’ paid family responsibility leave during each leavecycle when the employee’s child is born, or when the employee’s child is sick or in the event of the death of the employee’s spouse or life partner or parent, adoptiveparent, grandparent, child, adopted child, grandchild or sibling.

Procedures to be followed in termination of employment

Whilst the contract of employment makes provision for termination of employment, it must be understood that the services of an employee may not be terminated unless a valid and fair reason exists and fair procedure is followed. If an employee is dismissed without a valid reason or without a fair procedure, the employee may approach the CCMA for assistance.

Pro-rata leave and severance pay might be payable. In the event of a domestic worker being unable to return to work due to disability, the employer must investigate the nature of the disability and ascertain whether or not it is permanent or temporary. The employer must try to accommodate the employee as far as possible for example, amending or adapting their duties to suit the disability. However, in the event of it not being possible for the employer to adapt the domestic workers’ duties and/or to find alternatives, then such employer may terminate the services of the domestic worker. The Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995 sets out the procedures to be followed at the termination of services in the Code of Good Practice, in Schedule 8.

What are the minimum wages for Domestic workers who work more than 24 hours per month?


Minimum rates for the period 1 December 2012 to 30 November 2013
Hourly Rate R8.95
Weekly Rate R402.96
Monthly Rate R1746.00


Minimum rates for the period 1 December 2012 to 30 November 2013
Hourly Rate R7.65
Weekly Rate R344.30
Monthly Rate R1491.86

Information concerning wages and (payslip)

Every domestic worker must receive, on payday, a payslip showing:

  • The employer’s name and address
  • Domestic worker’s occupation
  • Period of payment
  • Domestic worker’s rate and overtime rate
  • Hours worked
  • Overtime worked
  • Hours worked and pay for Sundays and Public holidays
  • Wage
  • Any other pay
  • Details of deductions
  • Net payment.

The payslip is the property of the domestic worker.