Domestic workers

Domestic workers better protected

In November 2020, the Constitutional Court extended the inclusion of domestic workers in the Compensation Fund and the new rules came into force in 2021.

This means that domestic workers are now entitled to compensation in the event of accidents at work, illness and death.

“The Compensation Fund is there to help workers if they are injured, sick or die on the job. Domestic workers or their dependents are eligible for the Compensation Fund,” says Hlonitshwa Mpaka, Director of the Compensation Fund for Communication and Stakeholder Management.

There are only 1,676 domestic employers registered with the Compensation Fund.

She added that it is the responsibility of the employer to register a domestic worker with the Compensation Fund and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

They can do this through the Department of Employment and Labor website (www.labour.gov.za.)

Domestic workers are required to be registered with the Compensation Fund, regardless of their working hours.

The amount the employer must contribute on behalf of their domestic worker is determined by the domestic worker’s annual earnings.

If an employee is injured on the job, the employer must provide the necessary documentation to process a claim, including the employee’s ID and a medical certificate, which must contain detailed information about the injury and the damage.

Complaints can be made online through the CompEasy system (compeasy.labour.gov.za).

If you need more information about registering for the Compensation Fund, you can contact them through their call center on 0860 105 350 or you can visit a job center nationwide.

Registration at the UIF

UIF Communications and Marketing Director Makhosonke Buthelezi is also encouraging domestic workers and employers to register with UIF, which provides short-term relief to workers when they lose their jobs or are unable to work due to maternity, adoption and parental leave, or illness.

“As a domestic worker, you have to work more than 24 hours a month to be registered. You are not eligible for UIF if you work less than that. If you work for more than one employer, they must register you with the UIF, provided that you work 24 hours per month for each of them.

Buthelezi adds that both the employer and the employee must contribute to the UIF. The amount is determined by the employee’s monthly earnings. The employer and employee each contribute one percent to the UIF on a monthly basis.

“There are currently 724,801 domestic employers registered with the UIF,” says Buthelezi.

The minimum wage for a domestic worker has increased from 1 March 2022 from R21.69 to R23.19 per hour.

“The Compensation Fund is there to help workers if they are injured, get sick or die in service.”

How to register for the UIF

An employer will need to complete application forms UI.8D and UI.19. Completed forms can be sent by post to PO Box 1851, Pretoria, 0001; emailed to [email protected](link sends e-mail); or dropped off at the nearest work center.

These forms can be obtained from the Department of Employment and Labor website (www.labour.gov.za).

An employer can also register online at www.ufiling.gov.za.

They will need the following documents:

  • A completed application form or complete an online application form
  • South African ID or smart card
  • A passport in the absence of identity document
  • An asylum seeker’s permit.

An employee can apply for UIF benefits at their nearest work center or online at www.ufiling.co.za/uif/(link is external).

If you want more information about the UIF and how to apply for it, you can go to your nearest job center or visit the Employment and Labor website.

You can also visit the department’s social media pages, Facebook (UIFZA) or Twitter (@UIFBenefits).

Did you know?

May is Workers’ Month, which serves as a celebration and reminder of workers’ rights.

Written by Ursula Graaff

This article originally appeared in GCIS Vuk’uzenzele.

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