By Kobus Erasmus
In this article we will discuss Five important questions regarding the New National Minimum Wage Act (NMWA)
When did the NMWA came in force?
The NMWA was signed by the President at the end of November 2018 and became effective from the 1st of January 2019.
This means that all workers will be entitled to the new national minimum wage from the end of this month.
Who does the NMWA apply to?
The NMWA applies to workers and the only exclusion is members of the National Defense Force, the National Intelligence Agency and the South African Secret Services. Voluntary workers are also excluded from the scope of the NMWA.
What are the different categories of workers and what is the minimum wage applicable to each category?
Farm workers – R18.00 per hour
Domestic Workers – 15.00 per hour
Expanded Public Works Programme Workers – R11.00 per hour
Workers who have concluded learnership agreements – Prescribed Allowances
All other workers – R20.00 per hour
What is understood by the term wage and how is it calculated?
The term wage refers to the amount payable in money for ordinary hours of work excluding –
- Any payment to enable a worker to work including any transport, equipment, tool, food or accommodation allowance;
- Any payment in kind including board or accommodation;
- Gratuities including bonuses, tips or gifts;
- Any other prescribed category of payment.
What can an employer do if he/she/they cannot afford the new national minimum wage?
An Employer/Employer’s Organisation (obo of an employer) may apply for an exemption in the prescribed form and manner. Details can be obtained from any office of the Department of Labour or online at https://nmw.labour.gov.za.
The employer can also enter into a mutual agreement with an employee(s) to reduce the hours through a consultative process.