A recently published gazette by the Ministry of Labour & Social Security states that the minimum wage for most domestic workers will now stand at E1 500. Gazette also says that employers are obligated to provide accommodation for domestic workers, and should not charge domestic live-in workers money for benefits such as food.

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By Ntokozo Nkambule

The Ministry of Labour & Social Security has released Gazette Legal Notice 338 of 2022. The Gazette notes that there has been a 20% increase in the minimum wage of domestic workers in the country.

The Ministry representatives in conversation with the Eswatini Broadcasting & Information Services (EBIS) said the gazetted minimum wage has been operational since the 30th of September 2022. The increase of 20% in the minimum wage means most domestic workers will now earn a minimum of E1 500 per month.

New Minimum Wage Rates for Domestic Workers

Cook – E1 271                    

Care Giver -E1 500                    

Driver– E1 500               

Gardener – E1 246                                                                                                                     

Home Attendant- E1 246                                                                                                                          

Laundress – E1 246

The Ministry clearly stated that if domestic workers perform more than one responsibility then their workers are obliged by law to pay them more for those tasks. The gazette clarifies that the employer in that case must pay the domestic worker 28% on top of the monthly minimum wage.

The gazette also states that domestic workers will have to work for 48 hours per week. In the event, a domestic employee works more than these stipulated figures then the employer will have to pay them half of their daily rate. If domestic employees work on holidays or on their day off the gazette clearly stipulates that the employee must be paid double their daily rate.

Furthermore, in terms of leave days, domestic workers are entitled to not less than 13 days per year. The gazette highlights that employers must observe all public holidays and not exploit domestic workers. Other notable changes in this year’s gazette include a section on compassionate leave, which entails the following;

  • In the event of a husband’s death, a domestic worker (wife) is entitled to 37 days’ leave.
  • In the event of a wife’s death, a male domestic worker (husband) is entitled to 10 days’ leave.
  • In the event of a parent’s death, either father or mother, the domestic worker is entitled to 7 days’ leave.
  • In the event of a child’s death, the domestic worker is entitled to 10 days’ leave.

The ministry clarified that this is a minimum wage, which means employers can pay more than this amount if possible. The gazette also observes that for those employers that have been paying more than the gazetted minimum wage they can only increase by 10%, not the stipulated 20%. 

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