Domestic workers in South Africa are now included and protected by the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 61 of 1997 (COIDA). This means that domestic workers who suffer injury or contract an illness at work can apply for compensation.
As per COIDA, “an employee is a person who has entered into or works under contract of service, apprenticeship or leadership with an employer, whether the contract is express or implied, oral or in writing, and whether the remuneration is calculated by time or by work done, or is in cash or in kind.”
Moreover, compensation payable comprises the same benefits payable to all other injured employees.
The right to claim lapses if the accident happened or the disease commenced on or after 27 April 1994 and is not brought to the attention of the commissioner, employer or mutual association concerned, within 12 months from 19 November 2020.
Resultantly, all employers who employ domestic workers are “encouraged to register with the Compensation Fund without delay,” and make annual payments to the Compensation Fund to cover their employees. Failure can result in fines and civil claims if anything goes wrong at the place of employment.
These payments are referred to as “assessment tariffs” and are calculated according to the employees’ annual earnings and risks associated with the job.
Annual assessment payable = Annual earnings / 100 X 1.04
- A completed CF-1E (Application for the registration of the domestic worker employer);
- Copies of the ID documents, passports, or similar for identification for both employers and employees;
- Proof of the employer’s residential address; and
- A copy of the employment contract.
A Return of Earnings (ROE) is to be submitted by employers on an annual basis.
Here is what you need to know:
- Domestic workers who are injured or contract an illness on the job can claim compensation.
- Employers of domestic workers are “encouraged to register with the Compensation Fund without delay” or face penalties.
- A registered employer is required to pay an annual fee into the fund.
- This amount is calculated based on the amount earned by the employee, and the risks associated with the job.
- Specific benefits and terms are afforded to domestic workers which include disability cover, medical benefits and extends to cover dependents in the event of death.