Is your arrangement with your domestic worker legal?

Advertisement

Heading

Did you know that your two-day-a-week domestic worker qualifies as an employee? Research shows that while employers are keen to do the right thing, failure to legalise domestic service arrangements is a result of ignorance. If you have a domestic worker here are some things you should know.


Advertisement

 


The latest national census is expected to confirm that there are approximately 900 000 domestic workers in South Africa. Department of Labour legislation is clear that domestics working for more than 24 hours per month require a formal contract with their employers, should be registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), and should receive a payslip reflecting remuneration paid. Despite this only about 650 000 domestics have been registered with the national Unemployment Insurance Fund to date.

Research into why so many employers fail to legalise their domestic service arrangements indicates that while most employers are keen to do the right thing, few are aware that that their two-day-a-week domestic worker qualifies as an employee. Others are "put off by the administrative hassle involved in formalising contracts, registering with UIF and producing a payslip' says David Honeyman, Executive, Business Development, Guardrisk Allied Products and Services.
Since conflict between Domestic workers and employers, like any other employment dispute, are subject to the CCMA, failing to register domestic employees represents a legal risk to many clients.
So, while treating employees with dignity and fairness might be the right thing to do - from a risk perspective "it is in the best interests of both employers and employees to be compliant with the legislation and ensure that they have all the necessary paper work in place' says Honeyman.

As such, Honeyman and his team have designed a package to give effect to the legislation in a user-friendly and easily managed way.
For approximately R75 per month, the Domestere package will provide your domestic worker with:
? A standard contract of employment
? A payslip
? Death and permanent disability cover
? A medical expenses benefit
? Income protection cover
? A link to pay the UIF contributions

So, in addition to removing the hassle of registering domestic workers with the UIF and writing up a legal contract, many of the other problems that research has shown routinely complicates the employment of a domestic "like having to fork out extra for doctors and hospital visits, or assisting the family with funds in the event of death, are also dealt with' says Honeyman.
Domestere even provides a help-line for domestics and employers since research shows that 70% of domestic employment conflicts can be resolved through mediation. "Having trained professionals on-call to help employers and domestics agree procedures in line with legislation allows mediation to resolve the bulk of domestic conflicts before they progress to litigation' adds Honeyman.
Importantly, as legislation changes Domestere will e-mail employers with these changes, assisting with compliance.
Whilst the product can be purchased on a standalone basis, the idea is that employers will be able to add this package to their existing vehicle or household cover, eliminating a separate debit order or any other administrative hassles' says Honeyman.

While Domestere is available to all South African citizens with ID books, foreign workers with valid work permits can also be included.
Honeyman expects that making it easier for South Africans to register their domestics and provide for their protection in line with legislation is likely to increase the number of domestics registered with UIF. This is a great example of how the private sector can help government and labour meet their objectives of professionalising and protecting South African workers.
In light of the Minister of Finance?s recent announcement that a provident fund will be launched for domestic and farm workers by March 2013, "Domestere will provide a vital enabling function at a time when the national spotlight is focussed on improving domestic workers? lives' concludes Honeyman.


Advertisement



Advertisement


Advertisement


Advertisement


Google News


Advertisement




Advertisement