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How to be a Responsible Employer

Do you employ a local person to clean up your digs? You have to comply with labour law if you do, which means that you must treat your domestic worker fairly and respectfully at all times. Here are a few basic tips to ensure good practice:
• Pay the minimum wage: in 2011 this is R1506.34 per month (for an 8-hour working day) (R347 per week; R7.72 per hour)
• After working for you for 6 months, you must give your domestic worker 4 weeks notice if you decide that you no longer need them to work for you. It is unacceptable to go on holiday at the end of the year without making clear arrangements about the payment of salary during the vacation. How would you like to get no income for 2 months over Christmas?
• Money cannot be deducted from wages for breakages, damage, meals taken during working hours, uniforms or equipment used for work.
• If a domestic works for less than four hours on a particular day, they must be paid for a minimum of four hours.
• If you want your domestic worker to work on public holidays, you must discuss this, and come to a mutual agreement: extra leave at another time, or higher pay on the day.
• Give your domestic workers an hour meal break after working 5 hours continuously.
• Your domestic worker is entitled to three weeks leave a year, paid at their normal rate, plus 5 days family responsibility leave per year for, a child is sick or on a family member death.
• domestic workers do occasionally get sick, so be prepared to allow a reasonable number of days per year (e.g. 4 or 5) of paid sick leave
• A domestic worker is entitled to four months unpaid maternity leave.
• A standard working week is 45 hours; any hours worked over and above the 45 hours must be paid as overtime.