Here’s everything you need know about domestic workers in level 4

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****UPDATED 27 JUNE 2021 – LEVEL 4****

On 27 June 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed that South Africa will be heading for level 4 restrictions to help fight against COVID-19 infections and support the country during the third wave. With current restrictions put in place, there have been many questions about the regulations around domestic workers in level 4 and other cleaning professionals during Alert Level 4. Chief Operating Officer of SweepSouth, Luke Kannemeyer offers his insights.

THE RULES, CLEAR AND SIMPLE:

  • Domestic workers in level 4 are still able to safely travel from and to work & SweepSouth bookings are still able to take place. 
  • SweepSouth follows strict COVID-19 safety protocols, including promoting safety calls, daily symptom check-ins before each booking & providing safety tips to SweepStars & MORE. 
  • Safety is the main priority, and citizens are asked to wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose.
  • Keep a safe 1.5 meter distance from one another and make sure to wash your hands regularly with either soap or hand sanitizer.
  • If you have symptoms it’s important to self-isolate for 10 days. If you have a SweepSouth booking during this time, you can easily cancel your booking and rather contribute towards your SweepStar. Here’s how you can still help your SweepStar during these difficult times – click here.
1. ARE DOMESTIC WORKERS ALLOWED TO WORK IN LEVEL 4?

The answer is yes. Domestic workers are allowed to safely work during level 4. It is important during this time to make sure that safety protocols are put in place to help the fight against COVID-19.

2. CAN I USE A CLEANING, HOME OR GARDEN SERVICE?

Cleaning, home and sanitation services are permitted during Alert Level 4. You can book any home service for your home. It’s important to be safe during these bookings.

3. WHAT IF I PREFER MY DOMESTIC WORKER NOT COME TO WORK DURING LEVEL 4?

We would strongly urge you to continue supporting your domestic employees during this difficult time. It’s also important to take note, that more than ever, according to our fourth annual SweepSouth Report on Pay and Working Conditions for Domestic Workers Across Africa domestic workers need our help. The impact of the pandemic had a significant and grim effect on the domestic worker industry. If you feel you need to cancel your booking, make sure you still contribute towards the SweepStar and help them continue making an honest living.  

 

22 Comments Add yours

  1. Mmakgotso says:

    What about domestic workers who who worked during lockdown.are they to be paid double?I mean the live-in.

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    1. SweepSouth says:

      Hi Mmakgotso,
      We would strongly encourage all employers of live-in workers who voluntarily chose to work during the initial lockdown to adequately compensate them and their families for additional costs which they may have incurred during the time. For example, not being able to commute home over weekends may have meant increased child care costs. However, there is no legal requirement to increase pay over the period so this will have to form part of a negotiation between an employer and employee. If forced to work during the initial lockdown, there may be some legal recourse which we are not in the position to advise on.

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  2. Vimla Naidoo says:

    Good Morning
    Is there a special covid19 benefit or grant that I can apply for my domestic
    Thank you
    Vimla Naidoo

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    1. SweepSouth says:

      Hi Vimla,
      Domestic workers whose employers contribute to the UIF are entitled to a special Covid-19 benefit during the lockdown period. Employers need to apply for the special benefit on the UIF platform (https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19).

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  3. Jennifer M says:

    Evening
    Can i still register my domestic worker for UIF and apply for the benefit

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    1. SweepSouth says:

      Hi Jennifer, you can definitely still register your domestic worker for UIF. We cannot confirm, but once you have paid up your arrears and any necessary penalties, we expect that your worker should be able to access the benefit. You can give this article on Parent24 a read if you need more info: https://www.parent24.com/Family/Finance_Legal/when-is-it-too-late-to-register-my-domestic-worker-for-uif-20200423

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  4. krystle says:

    good day , id like to find out, i need to work during level 4, but my domestic worker normally looks after my kids when we are at work and after school, is she allowed to return to look after them while i work ? or how does it work ?

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    1. SweepSouth says:

      Hi Krystle, according to the current regulations, your domestic worker can definitely return to work, if a part of their duties includes childcare. All you need to do is provide them with a copy of Form 2 (available here: https://bit.ly/AL4_FORM2). Don’t worry about stamping the document. Just ensure it is as fully completed, as possible, with your details and your domestic worker’s details. See the section of the blogpost above titled ‘WHAT IS REQUIRED IF MY DOMESTIC EMPLOYEE IS ELIGIBLE TO RETURN TO WORK?’ for further detail.

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  5. Kitty Lawrenson says:

    Hi, if I am an essential worker still going to work every day, is my domestic allowed to come to work if she does not stay in, Level 4, and If she is allowed to work, do I need a permit for her and where do I get that?

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    1. SweepSouth says:

      Hi Kitty, unfortunately, while it was expected that essential and permitted personnel would be allowed to have their domestic staff return at alert level 4, this was removed on publication of the regulations in the Government Gazette and restricted to workers whose duties involve caregiving. According to Minister Patel, we can expect all domestic workers to return under level 3 for all essential personnel and personnel required to work under alert level 3 (AL3). We will have to wait for the publication of the Government Gazette outlining the regulations for AL3 before we can give you specific advice.
      If your domestic worker’s duties do currently involve caregiving, they may return. See the section of the blogpost above titled ‘WHAT IS REQUIRED IF MY DOMESTIC EMPLOYEE IS ELIGIBLE TO RETURN TO WORK?’ for further detail.

      Like

  6. Zinhle says:

    I am a domestic worker am leaving in, I used to go home on a Friday. Is it OK to continue going home on the Friday, during level4 of lockdown? How long level4 will take?

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    1. SweepSouth says:

      Hi Zinhle, we cannot tell how long lockdown level 4 will take. We expect that we should be on level 3 by June but we will have to wait on the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) to confirm this. Unfortunately, during alert level 4, you cannot commute home on weekends. This restriction is expected to be lifted at alert level 3.

      Like

  7. Leigh says:

    Hi there, the form provided does not accommodate for domestic workers of private individuals who are essential services employees. Should I just fill in my personal details as the employer?

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    1. SweepSouth says:

      Hi Leigh, note that ordinary domestic workers whose duties do not include caregiving as stipulated are not permitted to return for anyone. While this was part of the draft regulations, it was removed on final publication so essential workers and permitted levels 3 and 4 personnel will have to wait until level 3 for their domestic workers to return. We know you must be struggling as are many of us having to work during this time. If your domestic worker’s duties do include caregiving, you will have to fill-out Form 2 (available here: https://bit.ly/AL4_FORM2) and provide a copy to your domestic worker. For a private household, you are the employer of your domestic worker and so your details will need to be filled in where applicable.

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  8. Ernst Schutte says:

    As a private household where we are elderly( 70 + ) what permit do we need for the domestic worker to come to work?

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    1. SweepSouth says:

      Hi Ernst, you are able to issue your domestic worker with a permit (available here: https://bit.ly/AL4_FORM2) and should fill out all the necessary details, clearly stipulating that her duties include caring for the elderly.

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  9. Philip says:

    I find informative I am 64 and elderly in terms of the regulations to enable my domestic worker to return 1. Can I issue a permit and will I be allowed to drive to her home to collect and drop off.

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    1. SweepSouth says:

      Hi Philip, you are able to issue your domestic worker with a permit (available here: https://bit.ly/AL4_FORM2) and should fill out all the necessary details, clearly stipulating that her duties include caring for the elderly. She should keep a copy of this permit as well for yourself as it does appear that under current regulations, the transporting of permitted workers is allowed.

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  10. Jane says:

    Struggling to understand why Garden Centres and Landscapers are open and but Gardens Services are not. It is easy for us to keep distances and gardens are really getting out of hand. Clients are calling me with security issues as electric fences, beams and lights are being compromised after 7 weeks, and finding the dig poops in the long grass is not a joke anymore.

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    1. SweepSouth says:

      Hi Jane, we know that this is a deeply frustrating time for everyone. We suspect that even though garden services will generally keep their distance, the government is seeking to prevent groups of people entering multiple homes. We expect that alert level 3 is on the horizon for June so it’s just a little bit longer that we have to survive. However, businesses in the security sector and any service which helps with outdoor cleaning and sanitation is allowed.

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  11. Sam Venter says:

    Thanks for really useful info. Do you know if the permit you provided is the right one for a disabled person to use, for their domestic worker to come to work as an essential service? Would the individual sign (and stamp??) the form as the “head of institution”? The permit form seems more geared to a business than an individual employer – but there doesn’t seem to be a permit available for use by individuals/households? Any advice greatly appreciated.

    Like

    1. SweepSouth says:

      Hi Sam, Form 2 (available here: https://bit.ly/AL4_FORM2) is the correct and only form for all permitted workers to carry during the Alert Level 4 period. While frustrating that it is evidently geared towards businesses (and many businesses themselves don’t have stamps), we encourage you to fill out the form to the best of your ability with your own or the appropriate individual’s details listed as the employer.

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