“Newly confirmed labour rules requires all South Africans who employ domestic workers to register with the Compensation Fund, and make annual payments to cover their employees. The payments are referred to as assessment tariffs, and are calculated according to the employees’ annual earnings.
Following a landmark ruling by the Constitutional Court, which ordered that domestic workers be included in and protected by the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA), revised rules were gazetted by the Compensation Fund Commissioner, Vuyo Mafata, on Wednesday.
For the first time, domestic workers will now be afforded temporary and permanent disability compensation. The COIDA also covers medical and funeral expenses, while offering additional compensation to surviving spouses and children.
The activation of those benefits also triggers obligations for those with domestic workers in their employ, similar to any other type of employer in SA.
Employers are required to register with the Compensation Fund, and can face fines if they don’t – and will also be open to civil claims if something goes wrong at the place of employment.
Generally, employers are required to register new employees within seven days of the first day of work.
This deadline does not, however, apply to the current COIDA change to include domestic workers. Instead, employers have merely been “encouraged to register with the Compensation Fund without delay”.
“There is no deadline, it is an ongoing process of compliance to the law,” said labour department spokesperson, Musa Zondi, adding that the far-reaching impact of the COIDA amendments required a nationwide campaign to inform both employers and employees of the changes.
“We are in the process of embarking on an educational campaign. We kickstarted this with the notice which was published on the government gazette giving domestic worker employers full information on the COIDA and its processes,” said Zondi.”