The National Minimum Wage for domestic workers has been increased with effect from March 1 this year.
As the Constitutional Court reminds us, domestic workers “are the unsung heroines in this country and globally. They are a powerful group of women whose profession enables all economically active members of society to prosper and pursue their careers. Given the nature of their work, their relationships with their own children and family members are compromised, while we pursue our career goals with peace of mind, knowing that our children, our elderly family members and our households are well taken care of.”
Indeed many domestic workers are breadwinners in their families who put children through school and food on the table through their hard work. In some cases, they are responsible for the upbringing of children in multiple families and may be the only loving figure in the lives of a number of children.
Their salaries are often too low to maintain a decent living standard but by exceptional, if not inexplicable effort, they succeed.
The new national minimum wage, tries, in the current economic meltdown, to blunt the injustice by announcing effectively from 1 March 2021 the following.
Farm workers = R21,64 per hour; Domestic workers = R19,09 per hour; EPWP (Extended public works programs) workers = R11,93 per hour.
Saber Ahmed Jazbhay
Attorney: Constitutional Law