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Do I have to register my domestic worker or gardener for compensation fund? 

In the Constitutional Court case number CCT 306/19, Mahlangu and Another v Minister of Labour and Others 2020, the court has unequivocally ruled that domestic workers must have the right to claim compensation. This landmark decision has far-reaching implications for employers of domestic workers, including gardeners and caregivers, necessitating a critical reassessment of legal obligations. 

Starting November 19, 2020, it’s crucial to register your Domestic Workers with the Compensation Fund as mandated by the Compensation Act.

Why is this necessary? 

  • Legal Protection: If your Domestic Worker is injured on the job, not being registered means potential financial liabilities. Doctors or hospitals may demand payment from you, costing you significant amounts.
  • No Compensation Reimbursement: Without registration, you can’t claim back medical costs you might have paid for your injured Domestic Worker from the Compensation Fund.
  • Legal Implications: Failure to register can result in retrospective assessments and accumulating penalties, putting you at risk of substantial financial consequences.

Who qualifies as a “Domestic Worker” under the law? 

  • According to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, any employee who performs domestic work in the home of their employer is considered a Domestic Worker. This includes gardeners, household drivers, and caregivers for children, the aged, the sick, the frail, or the disabled. 

What are the benefits afforded to Domestic Workers? 

  • Domestic Workers are entitled to compensation for occupational injuries and diseases, similar to other injured employees.
  •  This includes benefits such as: 
    • Temporary total disablement (up to 24 months), permanent disablement lump sum, and permanent disablement pension. Additionally, compensation is provided to dependents in case of death on duty, covering funeral expenses, lump sum awards, and various pension awards.
    • Other benefits include compensation for orthotics and rehabilitation, which can include bursaries for tertiary studies, rehabilitation to return to work, and coverage for assistive devices needed during rehabilitation. Medical benefits includes medical claims and chronic medication.

In conclusion to register not only safeguards the rights of domestic workers to claim compensation but also ensures legal protection for employers. 

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