Employment advice. Before I lose my mucking find!

In absolutely mind-boggling, breaking news Gloria broke the fucking toaster.  The cool flat pan toaster to make killer zarms.  It was all the cats fault, naturally.  Because you know, cats go around ALL THE FUCKING TIME BREAKING TOASTERS.

I just got notified by my beloved via skype:

Jon: so.. apparently the toaster is broken.  Not sure if Gloria meant the normal toaster or the snackwich thing.  She blamed it on the black cat that was on the counter, and while jumping off when she came downstairs knocked it over.

Fucking awesome.  This comes after I found the sugar pot without half it’s lid.  Was I told? No.  Did she put it somewhere I could see it? No.  Could I find a note anywhere? Big, fat, fucking NO!!!!!!!  She just neatly put the half-lid back on top of the sugar pot and I nearly dropped the entire thing all over the kitchen floor when making my coffee half asleep yesterday.

Seriously, I have now just about had enough!  Jon and I have been discussing getting rid of her.  More like me wailing and Jon calming me down with ‘we’ll get a new one, sweetheart, a better one, a nicer one that will speak English properly and one you will love’.

We need to find out how to go about this.  I want her gone.  But I don’t want to screw her over, either.  She’s aged and I’m sure no one will employ her straight away, so I’d like to give her at least two month’s notice and a severance of sorts.


  1. Do we need to back pay her UIF? (It’s not currently activated)
  2. How does pension work?
  3. Will she be able to claim anything from the government?
  4. Do I need to worry about CCMA?

Assvice, I need it.

Annnnnnnnnd GO!


  1. Don't believe a word I write says:

    Sorry, no advice, just commiserations. I, too, am owned by an elderly maid and there is no way I’ll ever be able to get rid of her, barring finding her sleeping in my bed at lunchtime (which happened to a friend of mine).

  2. Brett Pringle says:

    Did she sign an employment contract with you? If not, then she falls under temp staff which is a totally different ball game compared to permanent employment.

    How long has she been working for you? This will also play some roll in the dismissal period if i am not mistaken

  3. Tania says:

    Hi there,

    1. How long has she worked for you for (and no, ‘too long’ is not the right answer)? You would need to register her asap for UIF and backpay, otherwise you might get into trouble..
    2. She would need to claim state pension
    3. You should always be worried about the CCMA. Do it right, first time. 1 month’s notice plus minimum of 1 week severance pay per completed year of service.
    4. You would need to retrench her or dismiss her, up to you.
    Let me know if I can help 🙂

  4. Jon says:

    UIF was such an oversight, but to do right by her is something I want to sort out regardless.

    As for her conduct, we’ve tried corrective action, giving her lists of things to do – which she still doesn’t follow.

  5. Jon says:

    No formalised contract was signed.

    Gloria would have been working for me for 6 years in July.

    Regarding the UIF backpay, I understand it is 1% for the employer, 1% for the employee. Would it be fair to deduct her portion from her severence in lieu of her portion? Before you bite my head off, I’m just asking, want to understand the legalities because we’re talking about a fair wad of cash here.

  6. Tania says:

    UIF is only 1%, paid by the employer, but i don’t think your would need to pay in the whole 6 yrs as the legislated UIF for domestic workers only kicked in a couple of years ago.
    Why would someone want to bite your head off? At least you’re trying to do the right thing!
    Would you be able to prove how you paid her i.e. did you pay her cash or by electronic transfer? You might be asked to produce payslips.

  7. Shebee says:

    Jon has been paying her via EFT for years, so would that be enough proof? I’m pretty sure we could just print out payslips either way…

    Thanks so much for your help Tania, we really appreciate it!

  8. Kerryn says:

    Everything you need to know about domestic workers is here. She is definately entitled to UIF (unless she works less than 24 hours a month), and you will have to pay back UIF.

    UIF is definately 2%, 1% employer and 1% employee – be careful trying to deduct the 1% of her back pay contribution, if it’s not too much – pay it yourself, or it may be the thing that lands you at the CCMA. If you offer her a fairly good severence package you shouldn’t end up at the CCMA, but you really never know.


    Any person who works for you continously for a certain period of time is considered a permanent employee regardless of whether a contract exists or not.

    Good luck!!

  9. Jon says:

    So, my current line of thinking….

    Not having provided her with verbal/written warnings in the past is a major oversight, and something we will begin doing. Which means we will not be able to immediately fire her (unless for a severe enough reason – not the case yet).

    We should organise the UIF now, regardless; it’s the right thing to do. We won’t deduct her backdated UIF contribution, but rather pay it in. It’s my fault I didn’t organise it before.

  10. Tania says:

    You don’t need to dismiss, you can retrench, but on some conditions such as
    1. are you employing someone in the same capacity i.e. same number of days a week/month
    2. you pay out the abovementioned severance pay plus give her 1 month notice.

    Otherwise, you would need to do warnings etc and then dismiss if there’s no change.

  11. MeeA says:

    I’m afraid I can offer you no advice in terms of Gloria’s severence, UIF, etc.
    But I can very highly recommend http://www.helpathome.co.za for finding you the perfect domestic helper for your home.

    Also, it’s sad and I can imagine that it feels awful to have to let Gloria go, but the simple fact of the matter is that she needs to take responsibility for the situation she finds herself in. It would not have come about had she been willing to come to some kind of compromise or understanding with you and/or had been less careless about your things.
    It’s all fine and well feeling sorry for someone, but there comes a time when a line must be drawn and, as far as I can tell from my limited perspective of your lives, that time has come.

    Good luck.

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  13. Steven says:

    @Tania. I’m afraid you are mistaken with regards to the amount that needs to be submitted to UIF.
    From the site you linked, the first couple of lines state:
    # UIF must be deducted monthly at a rate of 1% and 1% must be contributed by the Employer.
    # These payments together with the declaration form must be submitted to the UIF monthly.

    Also, from the labour site (http://www.labour.gov.za/legislation/acts/basic-guides/employer2019s-guide-to-uif-1):

    Deducting contributions
    Employers must deduct 1% of their workers’ pay for UIF.
    Employers must pay the 1% they deducted from workers, together with 1% from themselves to the UIF or SARS before the 7th of every month.

    Enjoy that pie.

  14. Louise says:

    Our domestic worker has been working for 30 years with ALL benefits included. I have let behind to pay the monthly uif benefits. Do I back pay from the institution started(what’s the date?) Or when se started working? Please inform asap of the necessary info and how to go about it.

  15. Tania says:

    Hi All

    Also desperately need help with this UIF thing.
    I have a Zimbabwean working for me – total list of losses written off so far – lets see:
    1 x Washing macine door
    1 x Tumble Dryer,(seriously – how does the pop rivet inside holding the drum just tear out?)
    Stove and Over – (scrubbed off all the numbers on all the knobs – now the new one had a smucking chip out the one plate too and its not even 1 month old.
    2 x irons
    2 x ironing boards
    1 x hand made kingsize bedspread
    numerous pieces of clothing desproyed or burned
    One seriouly scratch microwave,
    can’t even remember what else.

    She is now seeking UIF – she has been in the country working for me for about 4 years but only a year ago I found out she did not have a work permit. I then helped her get one, and a bank account – and now she is claiming against me.

    I need to know firstly – if she is entitled to UIF – if she is, for how long – and then how much?

    Please help.

    Kind Regards


  16. zolie wilken says:

    I need advise. I have a small playschool with 16 kids. My teacher started in january 2014. She injured herself off duty and is now in hospital awaiting back operation. She now wants to claim uif but I haven’t registered her. Can I register her late (like tomorrow) and make back payments? She earns R2200pm.

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