Sunrise at Muizenberg Beach
Big changes on the cards for South African domestic workers – here’s what you need to know
Alongside the recent announcement of a new minimum wage, South African domestic workers are also set to receive new benefits under the Compensation for Occupational and Diseases Act (COIDA).
The proposed amendments are open to public comment until 18 December, with the changes expected to be officially introduced sometime in 2019.
Speaking to Businesstech, Johan Botes, a partner at Baker Mckenzie, said that the changes bring good news to both domestic employees and employers.
“Domestic employees may benefit from the Compensation Fund if they are injured on duty (i.e. disablement, diseases or death) and may, in addition to compensation, receive reasonable medical aid expenses arising from such injury for a period of two years (or longer in certain situations),” he said.
“Previously, domestic employees would only be able to claim against the Unemployment Insurance Fund and perhaps a civil claim against the employer.
“For employers, the proposed amendments mean that the Compensation Commissioner steps into the shoes of the employer where a domestic employee is injured on duty.
“A registered employer is protected against all civil claims arising from an injury on duty.”
Botes said that under the proposed amendments, an ‘injury on duty’ will include the transportation of a domestic employee by or for the employer to or from the workplace.
Therefore, where an employer entrusts a domestic employee to assist with school trips, grocery shopping and other day-to-day tasks, any injury suffered by the domestic employee whilst carrying out these tasks, despite not being at the workplace, will be deemed to be in the course and scope of employment, he said.
“An accident will also be deemed to be in the course of scope of employment of a domestic employee even if, at the time, the employee was acting (i) contrary to any law that applies to employment, (ii) contrary to any order from the employer, or (ii) without any order but in the interests of or in connection with the business of the employer.”
Do you have to register or pay?
The term ‘domestic employee’ includes a nanny, gardener, housekeeper and domestic driver.
Therefore, a single suburban household may – under the proposed amendments to COIDA – employ a number of employees.
For purposes of COIDA all persons who employ one or more employees must register with the Compensation Fund, said Botes.
“An employer may complete the registration process online and submit the earnings paid to a domestic employee, after which an invoice will be generated with the amount payable to the Compensation Fund.
“The employer is assessed according to the nature of its business operations on the principle that each industry should be responsible for the costs of its accidents.
“Adjustments may therefore be made depending on the accident record. A merit rebate may be given to an employer if their accident record is lower than others in the same industry,” he said.
The anticipated costs for the new industry class described as “Households”, attracts an assessment rate of 0.89 cents per R100 of earnings paid to the employee, Botes said.
“Which is why we believe that this is good news for both employers and domestic employees. For a reasonable R8.90 per R1,000 earning paid to an employee, both parties will get peace of mind that they are protected,” he said.
“It would be a disproportionate risk for any employer not to register with the Compensation Fund.
“Note, however, that the amount paid to the Compensation Fund may not be recovered from the employee,” he said.
He added that further responsibilities arise in the event of an injury on duty.
“In the event of such injury, the employer must submit the required forms within 7 days after an injury, or within 14 days of being notified of the diagnosis of a disease.
“The Commissioner may impose a penalty equal to the full amount of compensation payable plus interest from the date of the accident if an employer fails to report an injury or diagnosis within the stipulated timeframe.”
In general, most instances of non-compliance with the COIDA are now accompanied by such penalty, being the full amount of compensation payable rather than criminal sanctions, he said.
“However, if an employer’s domestic employee is an immigrant employee, without a valid work permit, neither the employer or employee will enjoy the protection under COIDA.
“Further, it is a criminal offence to employ a person(s) who does not comply with the Immigration Act.”
Responsibility to keep your home safe?
Botes said that in these circumstances, the employer’s home is the domestic employee’s workplace.
Therefore, employers must ensure they identify the hazards of their homes/workplaces and take steps to eliminate and mitigate such hazards, or potential hazards, he said.
“Training may need to be given in relation to these hazards and precautionary measures put into place.
“The employer must provide appliances and equipment which are safe and without risks to health. So that decade-old vacuum sporting exposed wires near the electrical plug, would need to be made safe.
“Providing chemicals which should be used in conjunction with masks, gloves or other personal protective equipment (PPE), without providing the necessary PPE may be cause for concern.”
In short, the employer would need to comply with section 8 the Occupational Health and Safety Act, he said.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is acclaimed as one of the great botanic gardens of the world.
Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of the setting of Kirstenbosch, against the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain and what an exciting venue it is for these legendary concerts!
The vice-chairperson of Western Cape Bee Industry Association (WCBA) and commercial bee farmer Brendan Ashley-Cooper has already lost 100 hives and he sent a sample to be tested in the Hearshaw & Kinnes Analytical Laboratory in Cape Town.
This week, Ashley-Cooper received the sample back confirming his fears. It is from fipronil, a pesticide used on ants. On Friday wine farm owners and bee keepers held a meeting to discuss using pesticides.
iVenture City Pass Cape Town, in partnership with Cape Town Tourism, is the ultimate key to unlocking unforgettable travel experiences. The Pass gives you access to over 70 of the most popular Cape Town attractions, tours and things to see and do, a large number of those being kids-friendly activities. Whether you prefer day tours, museums, adventure, or the great outdoors, there really is something for everyone with the iVenture City Pass!
It also allows you to beat the queues at select attractions. It’s the only pass that offers a Hop on Hop off City Sightseeing Ticket and access to exclusive attractions for the duration of your Pass!
Whether you prefer museums, adventure, the great outdoors, cruising or touring, there really is something for everyone with SA City Pass.
The City Pass is designed to show you around the city and see as much as you can, different attractions and experiences.
Your iVenture City Pass Gives You Access to Over 70 Leading Attractions in Cape Town and Surrounds!Some of our attractions or some venues change their operating hours during the course of the year. We recommend contacting them directly to confirm their opening times or visiting their websites to confirm details.
The City Pass packages offer entry to a large range of the best attractions and venues available in a city and region. The range for each location varies by package and our range is growing all the time. Up to date information about the attractions in each package can be viewed in the included Attractions tab located in each package page.
The Inside Guide has just published an article highlighting the 13 best beaches in Cape Town for 2018 with a warning about security in its first paragraph, as much a sign of the times as it is a an appropriate time for the article that heralds the start of those summer days.
Apart from the sobering reference to security we certainly could not agree more with their choices with Llandudno, Clifton and Boulders taking the top three spots. Personally I am happy to choose my spot in the sun on #12 Fish Hoek where I grew up and where the water is warmer and there is always space enough for some privacy as opposed to some of the others that get far too crowded and a good record of security.
Take a look and see what your favourite will be this summer!
We have 15 exceptional properties available for rental in association with Steer & Co
View our current selection here
Africa’s biggest kite festival is proudly hosted by Cape Mental Health.
All profits go towards helping Cape Mental Health provide vital services to adults and children in resource-poor communities.
Watch amazing professional kiting displays – including giant inflatables, stunt kites and kite fighting – in the main arena.
Plus competitions, kite-making workshops, stalls and lots to eat and drink. Full programme.
Curated content for Chas Everitt Cape Town South by eNeighbourhoods
The Inside Guide’s has released a list of the best organic food shops in Cape Town and plenty of them are in the Southern Suburbs. You might say more than a fair share!
First on the list was Organic Zone in Lakeside
In a perfect world, the food we eat would all be produced ethically and sustainably, devoid of chemicals, pesticides and antibiotics. In the real world, that’s sadly not the case… the food industry lost its way decades ago, thanks to a few greedy stakeholders more interested in turning a profit (selling GMO- and mass-produced crops) than in the wellbeing of our planet and its inhabitants.
Curated content by eNeighbourhoods for Chas Everitt Cape Town South
A successful leadership transition in a real estate company is always challenging but over the last six months, a smooth transition has been underway at Devler Estates trading as Chas Everitt Cape Town South.
Sally Gracie, a familiar name in the Constantiaberg luxury real estate market, has replaced her brother, André de Villiers as MD of the well established local franchise that has been trading in the area consecutively as Steer / ERA Steer and since 2006, as Chas Everitt Cape Town South.
De Villiers, who has 34 years of Cape Town real estate experience, will be expanding his social media business eNeighbourhoods.com and is moving to Ireland, however, he Villiers will remain very active in the Chas Everitt franchise retaining the franchise Marketing Manager position.
Bruce Haywood, a popular and experienced figure in the South Peninsula real estate industry remains the Sales Manager and has recently become a shareholder in the business. Bruce Haywood and Sally Gracie enjoy a complimentary working relationship which will continue to serve the business well. Bruce’s knowledge of the territory and the industry, as well as his amiable manner, are a great value to the business. The Chas Everitt team covers a wide variety of markets in a substantial multi-territory franchise, stretching from Observatory to Simon’s Town.
Managing Director, Sally Gracie feels strongly that real estate leadership is too often removed from active selling which inevitably creates a distance between the team leadership and the body of agents. To this end, Sally will remain the Luxury Property Team leader and the resident agent at Stonehurst Estate where she is the longest-serving accredited agent.
“Being at the coalface of real estate sales every day is important to both Bruce and me, and with the experienced administrative support we have, we are able to guide our sales team with credibility as successful salespeople in management, not management people just talking about sales. One may be surprised to know how uncommon that is in this industry and what a difference it can make,” said Gracie.
Prior to starting in real estate sales in 2008, Gracie worked for Southern Life Properties, as a Centre Manager at Durbanville Centre. Later, she was involved in managing both residential and commercial property for German-based Investment buyers and also worked for the British Consulate in Cape Town, heading up their management division, overseeing the housing and office compliment for the diplomatic staff.
Sally Gracie has introduced a new ‘Team Leader’ structure which will be a key to Chas Everitt Cape Town South extending coverage of the large franchise area. The ‘Team Leader’ structure will benefit experienced agents who can grow their own positions in the business, and effectively grow new agents (interns) to the industry. This structure aims to provide an extra level of hands-on sales support to new agents. Significantly, this structure is directly based on Sally’s own proven success with a Team Leader position. One of Chas Everitt’s Master Agents, Joan Ross has been the first to embrace this opportunity and will build her team in the Diep River to Kenilworth area.
Chas Everitt Cape Town South has always been at the cutting edge of technology and embraces change. According to Sally Gracie that innovation is a key ingredient in making the real estate franchise strong and different. “As a consumer solution orientated business there are some very exciting changes ahead,” she said.
Chas Everitt Cape Town South will be opening the fourth office to their physical presence in the Newlands / Rondebosch area next year.