Domestic workers and the Compensation Fund

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The Constitutional Court recently ruled that domestic workers are now eligible to claim for work-related injuries, illness and death under the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993 “COIDA”.


The ruling comes after a daughter of a domestic worker approached the Department of Employment and Labour to find out if she can get compensation for the death of her mother, who was a domestic worker, and who drowned in her employers’ swimming pool. The daughter was informed that, under COIDA, her mother wasn’t considered an “employee” and was unable to claim compensation benefits. The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa “SERI” ended up taking the case to court on the behalf of the family and were successful.


As part of this, employers of domestic workers will need to register with the Compensation Commissioner and pay an annual assessment fee based on their domestic worker’s earnings. This fee may not be deducted from the employee’s wage or salary. In order to register a domestic worker, the following information needs to submitted to or

  • A completed CF-1E Form (Application for the registration of the domestic worker-employer);

  • A copy of the ID/Passport or work permit of the employer.

  • Proof of the Employer’s residential address.

  • A copy of the ID/Passport or work permit of the employee(s).

  • A copy of the employment contract.


Employers are also required to submit a Return of Earnings “ROE” on an annual basis as soon as the ROE online platform opens between 1 April and 31 May 2021. Employers will be required to declare the actual earnings paid and to estimate their domestic employee(s) earnings for the following year. The earnings declared will be based on the salaries, including benefits paid during the period under review (1 March to 28 February of the following year).


In addition to the above, employers must register as a user on the Department of Employment and Labour’s online services platform and submit their ROEs online. Claims for occupational injuries and/or diseases can be submitted to the Compensation Fund manually or using the online platform. Failure to register or pay could result in a fine or prosecution for an incident that leads to a domestic worker being injured or killed while at work.

For more information on the above topic, please contact the LabourNet Helpdesk at 


0861 LABNET (0861 522638).


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