Ricochet News

National Minimum Wage to be reviewed annually

Jan 19, 2018
National Minimum Wage to be reviewed annually

The Department of labour’s briefing session  on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) was told on Friday, that it will be reviewed on May 1 of each year in line with the government’s aim of alleviating poverty in the labour market.

Stephen Rathai, Director: Employment Standards, said this in Witbank, Mpumalanga, while addressing stakeholders mainly from labour about the soon to be introduced NMW.

"In the review of NMW, the commission which advises the minister has to take a number of factors into consideration such as inflation, the cost of living, wage levels, wage differentials, productivity, the ability of business to carry on successfully as well as the impact on SMME’s and employment," Rathai said.

He said the review process should also promote medium term targets to reduce wage differentials and alleviation of poverty.

Turning to the granting of exemption or the variation from the NMW, Rathai said the Bill provides for such.

“The regulation will include the procedure for exemption, the obligation on employer to consult with the employees or their trade unions and the criteria for  evaluating exemptions” Rathai said.

The objective of the worker briefing sessions is to ensure that the NMW as a new labour policy intervention instrument is communicated to all the intended beneficiaries (workers).

This also includes educating the workers on the implications of proposed amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), the Labour Relations Act (LRA), the Accord on Collective Bargaining and Industrial Action and the Code of Good Practice on Collective Bargaining, Industrial Action and Picketing.

The worker engagement/briefing sessions started on 9 November 2017. The briefing sessions are targeting all sectors of the economy. Since the start of the roadshows - NMW and labour amendment briefing sessions have been held in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, George, Pietermaritzburg, Richards Bay, Durban, Tzaneen, and Polokwane.

The National minimum wage is scheduled for implementation from 1 May 2018. The agreed national minimum wage at NEDLAC is pegged at R20 an hour for major sectors, with the exception of sectors such as farm workers, and domestic workers.  

More worker NMW and labour amendments briefing sessions are still to be held in Klerksdorp (25 January), Rustenburg (26 January), Bloemfontein (01 February), Welkom (02 February), Umtata (07 February), East London (08 February), Port Elizabeth (09 February), Upington (15 February), and culminating in Kimberley on (16 February).

The briefing sessions on NMW and amendments to labour laws are held from 10-13:00.