MORE than six million workers are expected to benefit from the national minimum wage when it is introduced, says Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant.
The National Minimum Wage Bill is currently before Parliament and proposes, that the national minimum wage level be set at R20 per hour – reviewed annually.
However, the minimum wages for domestic and farm workers will initially be set at R15 and R18 an hour respectively. This will be adjusted to reach the National Minimum Wage within two years of implementation.
Minister Oliphant said there is a commitment by employers, organised labour and the community, which consists of various non-government organisations (NGOs) to support the national minimum wage.
“Employers have committed to not retrench any worker based on the national minimum wage. Those are the positive relations that we have established at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) constituency level,” she said.
Minister Oliphant said when the wage is introduced, exemptions will be available to sectors.
Those seeking exemption must apply for it and discuss it with their workers.
“If you are applying for an exemption currently, because we have not yet finalised the regulations regarding the national minimum wage, you need to discuss it with the workers, that as an employer you cannot afford to pay [the National Minimum Wage]. You must state how you will pay those people, in order for them to be on the same level as everybody,” Minister Oliphant said.
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