The lack of a single piece of paper is negatively impacting millions of people’s lives.
South Africa has more than one million domestic workers, accounting for more than 8% of the total workforce of the country. Unlike other sectors, domestic work has traditionally been characterised by very little legislative compliance by employers.
This lack of formality by domestic employers puts the employer and employee at risk, but most importantly it makes domestic workers particularly vulnerable in our current economy.
South African households are under tremendous financial pressure, having to cut spending costs amid rising food and energy costs. Many face job uncertainties. South Africa’s high unemployment rate has been ranked as the worst in the world, having climbed to a high of 26.7% in the first quarter of 2016, according to Stats SA.
The stats body showed that among the worst to be hit, were domestic workers, with as many as 45,000 losing their jobs in the first quarter.
Any other sector in South Africa shedding 45,000 jobs in a quarter would have been national news.
Not only did this largely go unnoticed, but the sad reality is that very few of these 45,000 domestic employees will not have been able to collect the unemployment benefits (UIF) specifically put there to help them survive.
Most of these 45,000 families had their lives impacted by the absence of a single piece of paper.
The lack of a monthly payslip.
The vast majority of South African domestic workers do not get an official monthly pay-slip.
Without payslips, domestic workers cannot claim from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)
This is a very real problem, having a very real impact on vulnerable people.
Without payslips most of the families of those 45,000 retrenched domestic workers will have been left helpless in what would already have been a very stressful time.
Without a history of official payslips, not only can domestic workers not claim UIF when they are retrenched, but they can also not claim maternity leave benefits – which is massively important in a sector dominated by women – nor can they even begin to do something as simple as applying for a loan for their children to study and improve their own lives.
As individuals, South Africans we need to stop and think about this disjuncture between our commitment to basic human rights vs our actual lived experience. Our moral and legislative requirement to provide a single piece of paper to our employees each month vs the shattered and ruined lives of their families when they don’t have them.
GreatSoft, a South African software development company recognized the critical importance of providing a free solution to address this very real challenge. They have launched a completely free for use platform that allows employers of domestic staff to follow a 5-minute registration process, and thereafter automatically generate free monthly payslips. With no strings attached.
The free-for-use platform is called Payroll Lite, and gives employers peace of mind that you are doing the right thing, and employees know that if they do need help, they are compliant and eligible for help.
Employers can now do the right thing by taking the first steps towards making their domestic employees legislatively compliant. It takes only a few minutes from their schedule to ensure that their employees receive that critical piece of paper – an official monthly payslip. It could literally not be easier.
This is an important Corporate Social Initiative that offers real benefits to millions of South Africans. GreatSoft is a company that genuinely believes that corporate South Africa should be looking at how they can use their specific skills, tools and processes to making a real and measureable contribution to changing our country for the better and addressing our national challenges.