Frequently asked questions
When you place a maid, do you do the UIF registration on behalf of the employer too and can you assist with a formal payslip format as well as all deductions and earnings etc.?
In response to your query, when we do a permanent placement we facilitate the contract between the employer and the employee. In addition, we provide you with an entire placement package which includes a payslip book; inductions etc. Although we can certainly assist you with your UIF registration, we don’t normally do it on your behalf. The reason is that a UIF form requires some personal information such as your ID number etc – for understandable security reasons, we don’t want access to that information of yours; in addition it is legally required that you sign it yourself. But we can help you fill it out whilst we are facilitating the contract.
Would once a month be considered temporary or permanent? And is that too little?
Are you asking in relation to our permanent placement service or our char team � I have tried to answer your query both ways. If the client uses an outsourcing agency to service their home (i.e our char service), then they are not the employer. They are paying for a service not for the person. Our people are employed on a full time basis and have the security of a full time job. We supply a char lady as and when you require. It can be every day, once or twice a week, once a month or even, once a year. We don’t tie anyone in to using our services – as and when you want. No mess, no fuss. However, where a person employs somebody themselves regardless of how they sourced the person – they are the employer and have an employee. The employee is entitled under South African Labour Law to all the benefits of a full time employee such as U.I.F, leave etc as long as they are working more than 24 hours per month. So should you only employ someone once (or even twice) a month and they work an 8 hour day, that person is deemed a casual and beyond being paid for the day, the employer has no further obligations to that person. As to your question – is that too little? Well, in terms of our char team, no! We provide as and when you need. In terms of employing yourself a casual through our placement service, unfortunately we would not be able to assist you as it is not viable. The minimum placement that we do is 2 days per week.
If a domestic worker is sourced through an employment/placement agency for two days a week, is the client liable for compensation for annual leave?
I’m afraid I don’t quite understand your question so I will answer it in two ways. If the client uses an outsourcing agency to service their home twice a week, then they are not the employer. They are paying for a service not for the person. The agency employs their personnel and they, of course, get annual leave etc. When the char goes on leave; the agency will provide another person to provide the service. The client pays only for the services received. However, where a person employs somebody themselves on a part-time basis (e.g twice a week etc); regardless of how they sourced the person – they are the employer and have an employee. The employee is entitled under South African Labour Law to all the benefits of a full time employee but on a pro rata basis. So for example, a full time employee is entitled to 3 weeks (15 working days) leave per leave cycle (which is a 12 month cycle beginning on the commencement date); a part-time employee is similarly entitled to 3 weeks leave but that would be the equivalent of 6 working days. And yes, the employer is obliged to pay the Leave. The employer and employee should agree as to when annual leave may be taken. It may be a prerequisite of the job that leave may or may not be taken at a certain time. If it is not stipulated, the employer and employee must reach an agreement as to when leave will be taken. If such an agreement cannot be reached, it must be taken at the employer’s discretion. If the employee has completed a year of service without taking leave, the employee is then entitled to take leave. Leave is paid. Confusion always arises over leave pay or holiday pay. Leave pay means that the worker is paid in full for the period that they are on leave. We often receive calls from employees complaining that they have not been paid their holiday money. This is what they often confuse with a bonus which is not obligatory. Employers are often unsure as to when leave pay is to be paid. Is it to be paid as usual, at the end of the month? Or when they go off on leave? Theoretically speaking, the employee has earned that money provided they have completed a year of service and is entitled to her leave pay when she goes on leave. This inevitably means that when your employee returns she will not be paid until the end of the following month, and is in for a long financial drought. This should be carefully explained to avoid misunderstanding.
How do I know if a domestic agency is legal?
In terms of the Skills Development Act of 1998 all recruitment companies need to be registered with the Department of Labour. Once they have registered, they will be visited by an inspector of the Department of Labour who will check that the agency is compliant in all necessary areas. A registered agency should have a “Certificate of Registration of Private Employment Office”; you can ask to see this certificate if you wish to verify the status. Also please be aware that a recruitment agency should not charge a work seeker any fees.
Do you perhaps know of any company that offers a complete home de-cluttering service? ie. A consultant comes to the home and assists with reorganising a very untidy home?
We don’t offer a service like that (I should look at doing so) and I’m afraid I don’t, personally, know of anyone that I can recommend. However, there is a local website that lists companies that do – if you go to www.getorganised.co.za , they have an organiser database that lists people that do exactly what you’re looking for. I hope that this helps.
How do the Marvellous Maids receive their training? And what background checks are done do ensure honesty?
The majority of the people on our books are QBE (qualified by experience) and come with references that we have thoroughly checked. We don’t do criminal checks on work seekers. The reason for this is that a criminal check will only show up someone who has been convicted of a crime and South Africa has a very low conviction rate; further very few domestic workers are prosecuted for theft – the backlog in the courts is mind-boggling and priority is given to violent crime. I, personally, know of a case where a domestic worker stole half a million rand of jewellery, three years ago and despite conclusive proof and admission of guilt, the case has still not come to court. Also many employers will not press charges against former domestic workers. If we were to do criminal checks, the majority would come up clean and this might give a false sense of security. As we are dealing with human beings it is virtually impossibly to guarantee that they will not yield to temptation. Theft happens – in all types of employment. The majority of the people on our books are QBE (qualified by experience) and come with references that we have thoroughly checked. Past conduct is the most reliable way to judge a person – both in terms or honesty and performance.
Mavis works for me 2 days a week and used to work for my neighbour for the other 3 days. They are moving and no longer require her services. She has a large family and her husband is unemployed. Are you able to assist her?
Unfortunately not. We only register people who are available for full time employment. We have tried in the past to find jobs for really outstanding domestic workers on a 2 or 3 day a week basis. It proved to be a logistical nightmare. Either the clients were looking for someone on the days that the workers were already employed, or they needed to see her on a day that she was already working for someone else. We would only register Mavis for employment if she were prepared to take a full-time job. It might happen that we have a client who is looking for someone on a part-time basis, but that would be a lucky break for you, and for Mavis.
Are the people you are placing trained to do the particular job?
The candidates we put forward as suitable for permanent placements are qualified by experience, we only register and place individuals that have proven themselves in the domestic environment. We ensure this by extensive reference checking, including talking to previous employers. We have found, in our extensive dealings with placing staff that training courses done are no substitute for years of service in a household. You can be assured that any candidates put forward to you, will have a history of years of previous employment in the domestic service field, with contactable references.
What time would my char arrive at my premises?
Deliveries start at 07h30 in the morning, with the average drop-off time being 08h00, however this does vary, depending on the traffic volume of the day in question, the weather, the distance of your location from the office, whether our driver has been to you before, etc... The main causes of a late delivery are public transport delays, your designated char arriving late (or not at all!) and inadequate description of a delivery address (if complicated). When booking a char, or placement appointment, please make sure that we have all the details of where you are (eg: Rd, Ave, Lane, Crescent, Street, etc.) We do try our best to accommodate specific drop-off times, if possible, please request when making your booking.
How long is the char work day?
Our Chars work for a maximum of seven and a half hours.
How does the char get home?
Usually the char will make their own way home once they have completed their work, but occasionally, depending on the allocated char, one of our drivers might pick-up, but you will be advised of this.
Do you provide lunch?
We do ask our clients to please provide something basic like a sandwich and a cooldrink/ coffee/ tea for lunch. If they are not able to do this we ask them to let us know when making their booking, so we would be able to make other arrangements.