SA Introduces the National Minimum Wage Act

South African Labour Law recently saw the introduction of the National Minimum Wage Act. The purpose of the act is to advance economic development and social justice for the poorest of the poor. This Act applies to all workers, except those who are members of the South African National Defence Force, the National Intelligence Agency and the South African Secret Service.
The national minimum wage is R20 per hour, with a few exceptions:

  • Farm workers are entitled to a minimum wage of R18 per hour;
  • Domestic workers are entitled to R15 per hour;
  • Those employed on expanded public works programmes are entitles R11 per hour; and
  • Earners on certain learnership programmes are entitled to minimum wage per Schedule 2 of the National Minimum Wage Act.

The national minimum wage must constitute a term and condition of employment, but in the event that existing terms and conditions are more favourable than the minimum wage, these terms and conditions will apply.
It will be considered unfair labour practice if employers unilaterally alter wages, hours of work and other conditions of employment as a result of the national minimum wage. A meaningful consultation process should be conducted in such circumstances.
Unless specified otherwise in a sectorial determination, the following are excluded from the minimum wage:

  • Any payment made to enable to worker to work, including transport, equipment, tool, food or accommodation allowance; and
  • Any payment in kind including board or accommodation.

Also excluded are bonuses, tips or gifts.
The national minimum wage will be reviewed on an annual basis. Employers and employers’ organisations may apply for exemption from paying the national minimum wage in the prescribed form and manner.
Contact Elizabeth here, or get in touch with your local Moore Stephens firm.