The labour court in Durban has ordered 17 employers in KwaZulu-Natal to pay their employees outstanding wages of more than R68000.
National spokesman for the Department of Labour, Zolisa Sigabi, said Monday's order came after the defaulting employers continued to disregard the law by ignoring the compliance orders the department had issued on separate occasions.
"The department then took the matter up with the labour court where judgment was handed down unopposed for all cases.
"All the guilty employers operating in the security, domestic, wholesale, retail, civil engineering, construction and bakery sectors were ordered to immediately pay the outstanding wages to their employees, with interest."
Sigabi said the court also fined them for non-compliance and ordered that they are liable for all legal costs.
"Should the companies fail to adhere to the order, the sheriff of the court will then be engaged to attach assets after which the proceeds of the sale thereof will be paid to the workers."
A further four cases were heard yesterday.
Meanwhile, the Labour Department has paid out nearly R200million since it included domestic workers in the Unemployment Insurance Fund on April 1 2003.
The UIF fund, which has registered more than 633000 domestic workers, was established to provide income support to workers during a period of unemployment.
Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana said yesterday that more than R395million has been collected from the employers of domestic workers registered with the UIF.
"I can still recall the labour pains we had to go through during the early stages of the registrations of domestic workers as our officials battled to cope with the unexpected influx of domestic employers who responded to the call to register their workers."
Mdladlana said that in January alone more than 1500 new domestic employers were registered with the UIF.
"It is indeed pleasing that close to half of the contributions collected from the domestic employers went towards cushioning the hardships of unemployment for domestic workers," he said.
"Benefits paid included unemployment, illness, maternity, adoption and death benefits."