Domestic workers

Nov 23, 2020

Domestic workers are finally recognised under the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA). South Africa’s Constitutional Court has ruled that parts of the COIDA are unconstitutional in that it excludes domestic workers employed in private households from the definition of an employee. It was held that this effectively denies these domestic workers compensation in the event that they contract diseases or suffer disablement, injuries, or death in the course of their employment.

The Court held that the exclusion of domestic workers from benefits under COIDA has an egregious and stigmatising effect on their dignity.

It further found that the judgment would have a retrospective effect from 27 April 1994 to provide relief to other domestic workers who were injured or died at work prior to the granting of the order.

Employers will need to register with the Compensation Fund and pay annual assessment fees based on their domestic worker’s earnings. Employers will not be allowed to deduct money from worker’s wages as contributions to the fund and employers who fail to register will be liable for fines and prosecution.

Article by: Areeb Mukaddam