DOMESTIC WORKERS. 

    

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The New Law controlling Domestic workers came into being on 1 November 2002 and we have been inundated with queries and problems from consumers.

As a result and after much research, we communicated with the experts  - those who know about this New Law,  and together with them have forged a liaison to help all South African Homeowners and those in business who employ Domestic workers.

The “New Law” that now governs the employment of ALL domestic workers is called The SECTORAL DETERMINATION SEVEN: DOMESTIC WORKER SECTOR.

ALL EMPLOYERS MUST COMPLY WITH THIS LAW &THE REQUIREMENTS IT CONTAINS.

This new law covers the following people: - 

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 and activities.

 

Consumers who employ domestic Workers as defined above must register them with UIF; must have a proper employment Contract and codes of conduct for Discipline and Grievance and explain the content of these to the domestic; and must comply with all other regulations.

An employer should keep a copy of the contract of employment for a period of three years after the domestic worker has left the service of employment.

 

Under commencement of employment in your contract, the correct date and year must be filled in e.g. 2nd May 1998 if it is for a domestic worker that has been with the family for some time, this is to confirm that they have been in your employment since that date under these terms and conditions.

If, during your meeting with your domestic work, gardener or driver, the employee refuses to sign the contract of employment, it does not mean the contract of employment is invalid. A refusal to sign should be noted therein, and a witness is to sign that the document was handed to the employee. It is the employees right to have the contract of employment explained point by point and to understand what it contains.

Just by the way, the Employee has the Right to demand that the explanation….and the Contract itself ......be in their own Home language.

 

In real terms consumers would be in need of proper advice from a professional in this field and you are invited to contact us whenever you have a query.

 

The following are important issues to be taken into account regarding the Laws for Domestic Employment.

 

1.            NOTICE PERIOD AND TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT 

In terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, any party to an employment contract must give to the other written notice of termination as follows: 

                1.1            If employed for 6 weeks or less  - 1 weeks notice;

                1.2            If employed for 6 months or more - 4 weeks notice;

 

Live-in domestics workers are allowed to stay on the premises for a month (notice period) or may agree to pay for the accommodation. On termination of employment an employee is entitled to a certificate of service. Should you need a copy please email us.

                                                          

2.            PROCEDURE FOR 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 that a 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 and this could cost you the equivalent of at least 12 months salary as compensation.

SO TRY TO AVOID AN UNFAIR DISMISSAL DISPUTE.  

It is advisable that the employer seeks professional help before dismissing a domestic worker to ensure that the dismissal is fair (ie. SUBSTANTIVELY – that there is a proper reason for Dismissal, and PROCEDURALLY – that you have  pursued the Dismissal through proper procedures).An employer who unfairly dismisses a domestic worker Unfairly may end up paying a substantial amount to the dismissed worker.

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 worker's 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. If you need information on this please do not hesitate to call on us at any time.

           

3.            REMUNERATION/PAYMENT 

Domestic workers must be paid for every hour or part of an hour that they have worked. Where domestic workers work for less than 4 hours a day a minimum wage equal to 4 hours of work should be paid to the worker.

The hours that the domestic worker workers and the area in which the domestic worker works determines the prescribed wage. This they have divided into two sections:-

                a)            Area where the Domestic worker works - (Area A and Area B)

                        i)            Area A:

                            Bergrivier, Breederivier, Cape Agulhas, Cederberg, City of Cape Town, City of Johannesburg, City of

                                     Tshwane, Drakenstein, Ekurhuleni, Emalahleni, Emfuleni, Etkekwini, Gamagara, Gerge, Karoo hoogland,

                                     Kgatelopele, Knysna Kouga, Langeberg, Mosselbaai, Mtubatu Municipality,Overstrand, Plettenbergbaai,

                                     Ritchersveld, Saldanha Bay, Sol Plaatjie, Stellenbosch, Swartland, Swellendam.                                                             

                        ii)        Area B:

                                    If it has not been mentioned in Area A then it is in Area B.

 

                b)            Hours worked per week - (more than 27 hours or less than 27 hours)

                        i)          More than 27 hour per week:

                                    Monthly rate for          Area A  - R800-00; Area B - R650-00

                                    Hourly rate for             Area A   - R    4-10; Area  B - R    3-33    

                        ii)         27 hours per week and less:

                                    Monthly rate for            Area A   - R614-25;            Area B  - R498-42

                                    Hourly rate for Area A   - R    4-51;            Area B  - R    3-66

 

Employers who cannot afford to pay the new minimum wage have an option of reducing the hours of work, rather than retrenching the employee.                                  

 

           It is illegal to pay less than the prescribed hourly rate.

If one pays more than the prescribed hourly rate they may not reduce it, as this would be an unfair labour practice

           

         WORKERS SHOULD NOT BE WORSE OF THAN BEFORE.

 

4.            INCREASES 

All domestic workers must receive a salary increase of 8% on the 1st November 2003 and 1st November 2004. This may change depending upon what New Amendments are promulgated and it is up to YOU as the Employer to keep abreast of developments at all times. Failure to Comply with the Law or any amendments is an Offence.

 

If you would like to be on a database mailing list to keep updated on all laws and amendments, please send us an email with your name, telephone number and email address.

 

5.            HOURS OF WORK 

            5.1            Normal Hours (excluding overtime)

 

                           A domestic worker may not be made to:-

 

                            a)            work more than 45 hours a week;

 

                     b)           be made to work more than 9 hours per day for a 5 day work week;

 

                            c)           be made to work more than 8 hours per day if working more than 5 days a week.

 

 

            5.2            Overtime 

                      Overtime is payable when the Domestic worker works longer than the ordinary hours prescribed per day or per

                            week, which overtime has been agreed to by both parties. Not more than 3 hours overtime on any day, or more

                            than 15 hours overtime per week -  (5 days x 3 hours per day)

 

                      Please email us for help on overtime calculations and the rules for standby.

                   

6.         MEAL INTERVALS

           A domestic Worker is entitled to 1 hour break for a meal after not more than 5 hours work. Such interval may be reduced

            to 30 minutes, by agreement between the parties.  During this meal interval the employee may be required to look after the

            children, the elderly, sick, frail and the handicapped while being able to partake of meals and refreshments and this will

            then be considered as time worked.  Meal intervals do not form part of the hours work.

                                                           

7.         FURTHER RULES TO KNOW AND ABIDE BY: -

           SUNDAY WORK                     

    PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

   ANNUAL LEAVE

   SICK LEAVE

   FAMILY RESPONSIBILITY LEAVE      

   MATERNITY LEAVE

    DEDUCTION FROM THE REMUNERATION

    PROHIBITION OF EMPLOYMENT

 

You must also keep on your premises what is called a Sectorial Determination and it is always wise to keep a copy of the BCEA.

 

 

These guidelines are not meant to be a complete summary of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and/or legal advice.  Should there be any doubt as to rights and/or obligations in terms of the Act or terms of any clause of the suggested Contract of Employment, such queries can be sent to us here

We will be conducting public seminars/workshops for the New Domestics Laws so please let us know if you are interested in attending these which will be formatted for breakfast, lunch time or evening sundowner sessions lasting about 3 hours each.

And remember please, we do have monthly newsletters for all those on our database. If you would like to be on our database, please send us an email with your name, telephone number and email address.

 

WE HAVE PACKAGES AVAILABLE TO HELP YOU.

 

In purchasing a Package from us, you will not only have the benefit of a VERY user friendly format to use with your Domestic, you will also have instant access to qualified persons who can answer any query you have and help you resolve your problems.

As a purchaser, you also have a choice of style and you can order either an A5 booklet with the usable documents inserted on A4 or…..you can elect to order the A4 style, for easy filing;

 

The packages on offer are as follows: -

 

The STANDARD PACKAGE  at R150 contains all the documents you will need to get started except the Grievance & Disciplinary Procedure & the Determination Summary and allows you free email support once per month for a period of 12 months from date of purchase to answer any queries you may have and/or to assist you with any problems. However, this electronic support will only be activated once you have verified by email or telefax receipt of the package quoting your name and package number;

       

The PREMIER PACKAGE at R280 contains EVERY document including the Grievance and Disciplinary Procedure AND the Summary of Determination 7, which all Employers are obliged to explain to their workers and maintain in an accessible place. The Premier package allows for free email support three times per month and one telephonic support call per month for a period of 12 months from date of purchase. This electronic support shall only be activated once you have verified by email or telefax receipt of the package quoting your name and package number;

 

Our packages are designed in such a way that they are usable, user friendly and interactive and have been prepared specifically for YOU the homeowner / employer so that you can simply apply the law and the documents supplied.

The Packages will give you the following: -

The Premier Package contains the following (Standard Packs are without items 5; 8; & 9.1 {ii}):

1.            GUIDELINES. - This has been very carefully drafted for your  private use when implementing the procedures according to the New Act and in simple terms, will explain what is required and how to implement.

2.            DRAFT CONTRACT.            - This contains all the relevant clauses necessary for the employment of your Domestic and all you have to do is fill in the blank spaces.

If you are unsure of anything, you have our total support and all you need do is email us.

If the Domestic has been in your employ for anything more than 3 days, you will have to structure the letter in such a way that it is not a “new contract” but rather a confirmation of the employment

3.            PAYSLIP - Simple document given to the Domestic each month in a sealed envelope;

4.            ATTENDANCE REGISTER -To be completed every day by the Domestic and then signed by the employer once per week. This record of attendance must be kept by you;

5.            SUMMARY OF ACT - PREMIER PACKAGE ONLY . DETERMINATION 7

This document that MUST be explained to and understood by your Domestic. Thereafter, it must be kept in an easily accessible place.

6.            DEDUCTIONS - Whenever a deduction to wages becomes necessary, you are now equipped with the required document.  There is a place on the draft contract for deductions as well, but once the contract is signed, it cannot be amended.

7.            CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE - Whenever a domestic leaves your service, he / she is entitled to receive such a certificate; 

8.            GRIEVANCE & DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES. PREMIER PACKAGE ONLY

Comprehensive internal procedure as required.  Simplified and easy to use.

9.            CLIENT SUPPORT and HELP FACILITIES

9.1           ELECTRONIC SUPPORT.

For all and any queries or problems, the purchase of this package allows

comprehensive electronic support, without charge, as follows: -

i)            STANDARD PACKAGE.

Email queries once per month.           

                                ii)            PREMIER PACKAGE.

Email queries / problems 3 x per month.

Emergency telephonic support once per month on 0721768309.

 

If you have any further queries on our Domestic packages, please feel free to write to me at  Lesley@problemsolvers.co.za.

 

And remember.  When you have purchased a package…..If you have any questions, problems or queries - once you have activated your electronic support service, you are entitled to contact us for support.

 

 

Email your queries to us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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