National minimum wage – 1 January 2019

The president signed the National Minimum Wage Act, as well as the amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the amendments to the Labour Relations Act on Friday, 23 November 2018. These Acts comes into effect on 1 January 2019.

What does this entail?

With effect form 1 January 2019, employers will be obligated to pay at least the national minimum wage. This amount is set at R20.00 per hour for all employees in South Africa. This is irrespective of the industry they are employed in. The farming/forestry and domestic workers sector have been given an exemption to only pay 90% and 75% respectively of the national minimum wage. This calculates to R18.00 per hour for the farming/forestry sector and R15.00 per hour for the domestic worker sector. This exemption is valid for two years, after which all employers must pay at least the national minimum wage announced. Employers in the agricultural sector should take note that a farm worker includes workers who are employed mainly or in connection with farming activities, as well as domestic workers working in a house on a farm.

Exemption?

If employers cannot pay the national minimum wage, employers can apply for exemption (reduction) of the payment of the minimum wage. This is an online process an if exemption is granted, it is only for one year.

Other provisions?

Employers must also take note that only the wage component of legislation was amended. Other provisions with reference to leave, working hours, deductions, overtime, housing, etc. still apply as applicable to your industry. Also, if your industry’s set minimum wage is higher than the national minimum wage, you must pay the higher wage.

Please contact us for advise in this regard, or if you require legal assistance in this matter. We are available 24/7.

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