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Can employers deduct money from your pay for damages or loss? We recently received this question on Facebook, and since the legislation for domestic workers is covered under a specific sectoral determination, we decided to discuss the issue in detail. Scorpion Legal Protection looks at the rules for domestic workers in South Africa.
The legislation that applies to domestic workers and deductions for damages or loss is Sectoral Determination 7: Domestic Worker Sector. You can view the full legal document here.
First, it’s important to understand who qualifies as a domestic worker under this legislation. The determination covers:
Deductions your employer MAY make:
On deductions for accommodation, the amount your employer can deduct may not be more than 10% of your total wages – so if you get R4 000 per month, your employer cannot take more than R400 for rent. The employer can also only deduct rent money if the room is weatherproof and in good condition, has at least one window and door that can be locked, and is fitted with a toilet, a bath/shower or has access to another bathroom. If these conditions are not met, the employer may not charge you for accommodation.
Deductions your employer MAY NOT make:
As per Sectoral Determination 7: Domestic Worker Sector, your employer is not allowed to deduct money from your wages for damages or loss that occurred in the course of your work.
You may also be interested in:
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Compensation for domestic workers
If you have a query, follow Scorpion Legal Protection on Facebook and ask your question during our next Live Q&A (every first Thursday of the month).
* This is only basic advice and cannot be relied on solely. The information is correct at the time of being sent to publishing.
Date added: 2 February 2021
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