New domestics’ wage slammed

[caption id="attachment_235842" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Minimum wages for domestics will increase this year.Picture:[/caption]

The cost of getting your house cleaned, laundry washed or your children looked after has increased from this month as the Department of Labour revealed the 2018 minimum wages for domestic workers, which sees a 5% increase over last year’s rates.

Minimum wages for domestic workers who work more than 27 ordinary hours per week in Area A (metropolitan areas) is R13.05 per hour, R587.40 per week or R2 545.22 per month.

For Area B (all other areas), the wages are R11.89 per hour, R534.91 per week or R2 317.75 per month.

For Area A domestic workers who work 27 ordinary hours per week or less, the wages have been adjusted to R15.28 per hour, R412.60 per week or R1 787.80 per month.

For Area B, domestics in the same category are to earn R14.03 per hour, R378.83 per week or R1 641.48 per month.

Gloria Kente, from the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union, slammed the increase, saying it would do little to improve the lives of domestic workers.

Kente said the increase should be at least R30 an hour for live-in domestics and more for those working part-time as they had to also factor in daily transport costs.

“Sometimes employers ask domestics to only work for three hours, but what are they supposed to do with such a small amount of money?” Kente said.

“Taxis are very expensive and in many cases they have to use one to get to work, especially if they live in a big city. Then they have to use that money to buy food and clothes for themselves and their children.”