South Africa: Labour On National Minimum Wage

National Minimum Wage applies to all employees, Department of Labour tells unions and other stakeholders

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) applies to all workers and no employer can pay workers below that level, the Director: Employment Standard, Stephen Rathai told unions and other stakeholders on Thursday at uMhlathuze Municipality in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal.

“The National minimum Wage will be the floor level below which no worker should be paid and cannot be varied by contract, collective agreement or law”, Rathai said.

Rathai was addressing unions and other stakeholders on the upcoming National Minimum Wage which becomes active in May 2018 as well as amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) and the Labour Relations Act (LRA).

“The National Minimum Wage constitutes a term of a worker’s contract except to the extent that the contract provides for a favourable wage and the employer cannot unilaterally alter the hours of work or other conditions of employment in implementing the National Minimum Wage”, he said.

Rathai said, of the R20 per hour minimum wage level, Farm/Forestry workers will be paid R18; Domestic workers R15, whereas Extended Public Works Programme workers will get R11 from May 1 2018.

Rathai said that amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act deal with the monitoring and enforcement of the NMW including dispute resolutions thereof.

The amendments include the scope of the Department’s inspectorate in terms of monitoring the implementation of the NMW including securing undertakings, enforcement of NMW in sectors with collective agreements including bargaining councils and the referral of noncompliance to the CCMA.

Meanwhile, Ian Macun, the Chief Director: Employment Standards told the gathering that the amendments to the Labour Relations Act deal with the state of labour relations environment with respect to violent and protracted strikes.

Macun said that one of the amendments to the LRA is that a picket will be prohibited unless picketing rules are in place.

The next workshop is scheduled to take place tomorrow, Friday, from 10:00 till 13:00 at Tropicana Hotel, 85 OR Tambo Street in Durban.-ENDS-

Source: Department of Labour