How much should I pay my nanny/domestic worker?

Being a nanny/domestic worker is hard work. Getting up early enough to be at your home before you leave for work and travelling by making use of public transport is at itself a toll order.

Nannies take care of your most precious belongings and therefore we encourage employers to pay their nannies and domestic worker a decent wage. Although most people pay more than the minimum wages as set by the government, here are the minimum wages in Mangaung (1 December 2017 - 30 November 2018):

• Hourly Rate: R13.05
• Weekly Rate: R587.40
• Monthly Rate: R2 545.22

Notice period and termination of employment

In terms of the Sectoral Determination, any party to an employment contract must give written notice, except when an illiterate domestic worker gives it, as follows:

• One week, if employed for six months or less
• Four weeks if employed for more than six months

Notice must be explained orally by or on behalf of the employer to a domestic worker if he/she is not able to understand it.

The employer is required to provide the domestic worker who resides in accommodation that is situated on the premises of the employer or that is supplied by the employer, with accommodation for a period of one month, or if it is a longer period, until the contract of employment could lawfully have been terminated.

All monies due to the domestic worker for any wages, allowance or other payments that have not been paid, paid time-off not taken and pro-rata leave must be paid.

Procedure for termination of employment

Whilst the contract of employment makes provision for termination of employment, it must be understood that the services of an employee may not be terminated unless a valid and fair reason exists and fair procedure is followed. If an employee is dismissed without a valid reason or without a fair procedure, the employee may approach the CCMA for assistance.

Pro-rata leave and severance pay might be payable.

In the event of a domestic worker being unable to return to work due to disability, the employer must investigate the nature of the disability and ascertain whether or not it is permanent or temporary. The employer must try to accommodate the employee as far as possible for example, amending or adapting their duties to suit the disability. However, in the event of it not being possible for the employer to adapt the domestic workers' duties and/or to find alternatives, then such employer may terminate the services of the domestic worker.

The Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995 sets out the procedures to be followed at the termination of services in the Code of Good Practice, in Schedule 8.

Working hours

Normal hours (excluding overtime)
A domestic worker may not be made to:
• work more than 45 hours a week
• work more than nine hours per day for a five day work week
• work more than eight hours a day for a six day work week


A domestic worker may not work more than 15 hours overtime per week but may not work more than 12 hours on any day, including overtime.
Overtime must be paid at one and a half times the employee's normal wage or an employee may agree to receive paid time-off.

Leave conditions

Annual leave

Annual leave may not be less than three weeks per year for full-time workers or by agreement, one day for every 17 days worked or one hour for every 17 hours worked. The leave must be granted not later than six months after completion of the period of 12 consecutive months of employment. The leave may not be granted concurrent with any period of sick leave, nor with a period of notice of termination of the contract of employment.

Sick leave

During every sick leave cycle of 36 months an employee is entitled to an amount of paid sick leave equal to the number of days the employee would normally work during a period of six weeks.
During the first six months of employment, an employee is entitled to one day's paid sick leave for every 26 days worked.
The employer is not required to pay an employee if the employee has been absent from work for more than two consecutive days or on more than two occasions during an eight-week period and, on request by the employer, does not produce a medical certificate stating that the employee was unable to work for the duration of the employee's absence on account of sickness or injury.

Maternity leave

The employee is entitled to at least four consecutive months' maternity leave. The employer is not obliged to pay the domestic worker for the period for which she is off work due to her pregnancy. However the parties may agree that the domestic worker will receive part of or her entire salary/wage for the time that she is off due to pregnancy.

Family responsibility leave

Employees employed for longer than four months and for at least four days a week are entitled to take five days' paid family responsibility leave during each leave cycle when the employee's child is born, or when the employee's child is sick or in the event of the death of the employee's spouse or life partner or parent, adoptive parent, grandparent, child, adopted child, grandchild or sibling.


It is compulsory to register your nanny/domestic worker for UIF purposes. All employees working for more than 24 hours per month must be registered for UIF purposes. The employer contributes 1% of the salary and the employee 1% of her salary, thus, 2% in total. It is the responsibility of the employer to register your nanny/domestic worker at the Department of Labour for UIF and it is also the responsibility of the employer to pay the monthly contribution on behalf of the nanny/domestic worker. (Visit: uFiling).

Other issues

It is compulsory to have an employment contract drawn up between you and your nanny/domestic worker. This contract must be according the guidelines of the Department of Labour and needs to be explained to your nanny/domestic worker. We can assist in drawing up a comprehensive employment contract at an extra tariff. (See Our Fees).

Tip: Keep track of your nanny/domestic workers' leave taken (let them sign for leave taken) and salaries paid in order to protect yourself and your nanny/domestic worker.