You Can Dismiss Your Maid But Do It Within the Law to the Letter


Dismissing a maid may be inevitable and it happens and it should happen if you fall out with her beyond redemption. If a maid constantly steals from you, you have no choice but to terminate the relationship. A maid may also turn your house into an entertaining guest house for her friends and boyfriends (this often done by untrained maids), you are left with no choice but to terminate her.

But sometimes dismissal may be for unfair reasons that have nothing go to do with the maid’s performance or misdemeanours. In such a situation you should be very careful and avoid landing at the CCMA.

Should you find yourself in a need to get read of your maid rather retrench other than dismiss her. Retrenchment is due to inevitable problems such as financial problems or relocation.

But whatever you do try to follow your actions by the letter to avoid time consuming visits to the CCMA here is the Sectoral Determination 7 for domestic workers, which provides special rules governing the termination of employment for domestic workers (maids).

Rules for firing a maid:

1. A maid should be given a notice period before termination of contract:

If a maid worked for 6 months or less she is entitled to a weeks notice. If she has been in your employment for more 6 months she is entitled to a months notice.

The employer and the maid may agree on a longer notice period.

2. Notice of termination may not be given during any period of leave entitled to worker, except sick leave.

3. Employer must still pay the maid during the notice period.

4. Employer must pay the worker all monies due to the worker which include:

  • wages
  • allowances or other payments
  • paid time off

5. Employer should provide accommodation for the maid if the employer terminates the contract of employment before the date on which the house helper is entitled to.

6. The employer should provide:

  • 1 month accommodation or until the contract is lawfully terminated.

7. Retrenched maids are entitled to one week severance pay for every year of service.

8. When a maid is terminated he or she is entitled to a certificate of service. The certificate must state:

  • Domestic worker’s full name
  • Name and address of an employer
  • Date of commencement and termination of employment
  • Title of job and brief description of work
  • Any relevant training received
  • Pay received at termination
  • Reason for termination

9. If a maid is unfairly dismissed, the maid can contact the CCMA based on legislation in section 37 of the BCEA( Basic Condition of Employment Act).

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