Unions register their concerns at NMW employer briefing session
Employers will manipulate the system and reduce working hours or even lay off some employees to avoid paying the National minimum Wage, unions told the Department of Labour at a briefing session meant for employers and employer organisations on Thursday at the President Hotel in Bloemfontein.
Why is the Department of Labour offering employers the opportunity to apply for the exemption not to pay the required national minimum wage? asked one of the union representatives.
This was after the Department of Labour’s Assistant Director: Employment Standard, Kekulu Padi and Acting Deputy Director: Financial Liaison, Max Tsotetsi presented the requirements for employers and employer organisation in applying for NMW exemption and how the system will assess employer and employer organisations’ exemption applications respectively.
The briefing was turned into a complaint and suggestion platform when unions told the Department to effect a clause compelling employers not to reduce the hours of work to anything below 45 hours per week as stipulated in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
The Director: Employment Standard, Stephen Rathai, told the session that the Bill does not make provisions for reviews for refused applications for exemptions. The only recourse you have is to take the Department to court and in the meantime you have to comply until the court decides on the matter, he said.
The next employer briefing session will take place tomorrow at the Bethlehem Town Hall, Dihlabeng Local Municipality, 9 Muller street, Bethlehem in Free State with the last one taking place in Klerksdorp, North west on April 24.
Source: Government of South Africa