Five ways you can invest in the financial wellbeing of your domestic worker

Here’s what you can do to help those who take care of you and your family

19 October 2018 - 11:36
Image: 123RF/Om12

Are you fortunate enough to have someone who helps you take care of your house and garden, picks up your children from school, cleans, and cooks dinner for your family? Have you ever really thought about the sacrifices they make in their own lives to help you run yours?

Many domestic workers spend more time with other people’s families than with their own. And even though they work hard, there is little money left over to send home to their families, or to leave behind for their children and dependants should anything happen to them or to fall back on if they are no longer able to work due to an injury or disability.

Looking after your domestic worker’s best interests goes beyond just paying them a monthly salary. More than 1.5-million South Africans work as domestic workers, cleaners, caretakers and gardeners but many of them don’t have benefits offered to them by their employers.

Earlier this year, the government announced a minimum wage of R3,500 per month, which translates to R20 an hour for a 40-hour working week. Taking into account transport, food and school fees among other expenses, domestic workers aren’t left with much money to save, let alone take out insurance in case something should happen to them.

Here are five ways you can help those who take care of your family:

  1. Structure a bonus that can either be worked into their monthly salary or awarded at the end of the year, depending on the option they choose.
  2. Think about your domestic worker and his or her dependants. If anything should happen to your housekeeper, what would happen to them? Yambu’s Domestic Care policy offers cover for people who work in private households; gardeners, childminders; people driving to and from venues; caretakers of the elderly, disabled and sick; and any of the aforementioned working as independent contractors.
  3. Make sure female workers are registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). Should they fall pregnant, maternity leave benefits will be paid under the Unemployment Insurance Act. A worker contributing to UIF is eligible for a maternity benefit of 38% to 60% of average earnings in the previous six months, depending on the insured person's level of income. Maternity benefit is paid for a total of 17.32 weeks.
  4. Upskill them by signing them up for driving lessons, a practical course or cooking classes. Happy employees who are allowed to grow in their jobs will work longer and better for your family. And if anything should affect their employment status, they will have practical skills to that will make them more employable.
  5. Have an honest conversation with them about how you can help them leave a legacy for their family. It could be as simple as opening a bank account for their children or giving bank account for their children or giving them all points or credits you accumulated from the various retailers at the end of the year to help them buy groceries, Christmas gifts or school stationery.

Did you know your domestic worker is also at risk of being injured while on duty? Yambu Domestic Care offers the opportunity to limit the employer’s expense when such accidents happen. For R149 per month, the policy offers a personal accident benefit of up to R6,000, a maternity benefit of up to R8,000, a temporary or permanent disability benefit of up to R30,000 and a life benefit payout to the elected benefactors of up to R30,000.

If you think you can’t afford R1,788 per year, think of it as giving up two or three restaurant meals or a luxury purchase. You can help your domestic workers worry less about their families’ security and make them feel more appreciated.

For more information about Yambu Domestic Care, visit


This article was paid for by Yambu.