FEDUSA Urges Employment and Labour Minister to Support Parity Wage Increases for Domestic Workers

11 January 2022

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has urged Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi to accede to the National Minimum Wage Commission’s recommendations to bring the wages of domestic workers on par with the national minimum wage. The Commission is required by the National Minimum Wage Act of 2018 to review the minimum wage on an annual basis and gazette its recommendations for the Minister and invite stakeholders to make submissions on those recommendations at the same time. Under these provisions, the Commission has recommended that the Minister increase the wages of domestic workers from 88% of the minimum wage in 2021 to 100% of the minimum wage this year; and invited stakeholders to make submissions on those recommendations until Friday, the 14 January 2022.

Historically, the Act set the minimum wage for domestic workers at 75% of the national minimum wage when it was proclaimed by President Cyril Ramaphosa in Kliptown, Soweto in December 2018. If these new recommendations are acceded to by the Minister, they will push up the minimum wage for domestic workers to R23 an hour this year from last  year’s R19.09 an hour,  bringing their monthly wages to nearly  R3 700 a month for an 8 hours a day.

While these increases will bring much needed parity for domestic workers – one of the most vulnerable class of workers in society – they still fall far below the poverty datum line that has been published by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA). For example, at R3 700 a month, the new minimum wage will still be far below the upper-bound poverty line, which StatsSA has pegged at R4 673.00 a month for an average-sized working class household.

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For interviews please contact:

Ms. Riefdah Ajam

FEDUSA General Secretary

079 696 2625

Mr. Ashley Benjamin

FEDUSA Deputy General Secretary

083 258 4433

Issued by:

Frank Nxumalo

Media and Research Officer

072 637 8096