Skip to main content

What the law requires of a Domestic Employer

Author: Estelle Carstens    Date Published: 08 September 2022

Any person that hires an individual to perform work at their home, is called a Domestic Employer. Keep in mind that a Domestic Worker can refer to any person that works in a home environment, such as a Nanny; Cleaner; Gardener; Au Pair; and, Carer.

As a Domestic Employer you should understand the various labour and employment laws that you need to adhere to – same as any commercial employer. Furthermore, that you as the employer must comply, whether your Domestic Worker works one to five days in a week.

Employment Contract and Job Description

This is a binding agreement that sets the tone of the employment relationship between the employer and employee. It is a binding agreement, so be sure to be thorough in the detail. Topics, to name a few, that must be covered is: remuneration; working hours and working days; duties and responsibilities; days off; all leave type entitlement; date of pay; how the salary / wage payment will be done.  The agreement is to be reviewed, accepted and signed by both parties. Be sure to keep a copy on your records as the employer and issue your employee with a full signed copy of the contract.

To be sure the agreement is fair and protect you as the employer and the employee too, have this checked by a company such as Domestic Support that specialise in human resources and labour law matters.

UIF registration, contributions, and monthly declarations

The employer is to be registered with the UIF as a Domestic Employer. Every employee hired in the household of this employer, is to be registered under that UIF number. On a monthly basis, earnings of the employee are to be declared to the UIF by the employer and 2% UIF contribution is to paid to the UIF by no later than the 7th of a month following the month of earnings.

Registration with the Compensation Fund/COID

The employer is to register with the Compensation Fund as a Domestic Employer. This is a type of social security in the case of injury, disease, or death while on duty. COID stands for Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases.

The Compensation Fund will cover medical bills and provides compensation to employees who suffer injuries or contract diseases while on duty. In the case of death, COIDA allows for compensation to the deceased employee’s dependants.

Annually, Return of Earnings are to be submitted to the Compensation Fund, after which an assessment will be done and a fee will be payable to the Compensation Fund. Currently the Domestic Worker sector is assessed at a tariff of 1.04% of annual earnings.  

Issue payslips

Monthly, the employer is to provide the employee with a detailed statement of all earnings and deductions.

Leave entitlement and record keeping

Leave entitlement is governed by the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, Sectorial Determination 7. Domestic Workers are entitled to annual leave; sick leave; family responsibility leave and maternity leave. It all depends on how many days in a week the person works as this will determine the number of days entitled in each leave category. Irrespective if your Domestic Worker works 1 or 5 days in a week, the employee is entitled to leave. Be sure to keep record of the days taken and what type of leave it was.  

Minimum wage

The Domestic Worker is entitled to receive payment of not less than what is described by the National Minimum Wage. Effective 1 March 2022 the Domestic Worker must be paid for an ordinary hour worked at a rate of R23.19 per hour.

Domestic Worker is a recognised occupation, and the Department of Labour is regulating this employment sector. This results in stricter law enforcement. We also see more Domestic Workers turning to the CCMA for assistance in mediating and arbitrating unfair labour practice. However, without a formalised agreement in place and with zero to minimum adherence to employment and labour requirements – the outcome will be unfair to the employer.

Mitigate risk and get your ”house in order”. Domestic Support specialise in employment and labour relationships between Domestic Employers and their staff. Get in touch to assess your compliance to employment and labour laws. Email Estelle at or call 071 894 5468.