Are you paying your domestic worker their fair share? Code for South Africa (Code4SA) has created a new app that makes the maths easy – a so-called “Living Wage Calculator” that helps employers determine how much is fair for those who clean, garden, work as security guards or drivers, and look after their children.
The Living Wage Calculator takes into account the costs of living for domestics versus what they take home in pay, factoring in the size of the worker’s household, as well as the cost of their food and transport, housing, education and entertainment.
While it’s not an extensive or particularly scientific tool, creator Adi Eyal hoped it would spark dialogue about the lives of domestic workers and challenge “unconscious assumptions”. It reportedly took just a week and a half to create.
Eyal is the director of Code4SA, and came up with the idea at a birthday party while chatting with other parents about fair domestic worker wages. Eyal realised that most people determine what to pay their domestics by comparing notes with friends and family, rather than by trying to establish what a domestic worker needs to live.
In South Africa, domestic workers make up about 6% of the employed population, according to a survey by Statistics SA. To try the tool and read a few domestic workers’ real-life stories, visit livingwage.