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Paying below prescribed wage is illegal

No employer may pay workers below the minimum wage once it becomes law, Department of labour’s national briefing session aimed at trade unions was told in Tzaneen, Limpopo, on Wednesday.

The briefing, which was attended by dozens of people was told that social partners have identified national minimum wage as one of the measures to reduce the high level of inequality, unemployment and poverty which characterise South Africa’s labour market.

Stephen Rathai, Director: Employment Standards, said a single minimum wage was preferred by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as well as minimum wage experts because it covers all workers  – and enjoy higher compliance  – benefits all workers equally and can be set to serve broader policy objectives such as the reduction of poverty and inequality.

The national minimum wage will be the minimum level below which no employee should be paid.

  • The level will be R20 per hour to be implemented and enforced from 1 May 2018
  • NMW for Farm/Forestry workers:R18 per hour (90% of the NMW)
  • NMW for domestic workers: R15 per hour (75% of the NMW)
  • NMW for workers on the Extended Public Works Programme:  R11 per hour (55% of the NMW)
  • NMW for workers with learnership agreements are set out in Schedule 2 of the proposed NMW Act.

The briefing, which started in Turfontein, Johannesburg, on November 9, will continue in Polokwane  on Thursday and come to an end in Kimberly

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