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National minimum wage exemption period

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) exemptions will be limited to a maximum period of one year.

Labour Department Assistant Director: Employment Standards Keku Padi told employers and employer organisations during briefing session on Tuesday at the Department of Labour’s Labour Centre in Port Elizabeth that the system provides results of the applicant on the spot.

“The exemption system will be linked to the Unemployment Insurance fund, Compensation Fund, Department of Home Affairs and the South African Revenue Services. If granted, the exemption will be from the date of application and the period will be limited to a maximum of 12 months,” said Padi.

Padi said the advantage with the Department’s NMW exemption system is that it provides results of the application on the spot and there is no waiting period.

She said the system will also provide reasons for the refusal and/or audit referral.

How the system works


  • Before granting exemptions, the system will subject employers to an affordability analysis, focusing on liquidity status, profitability and solvency position.
  • The system will not grant exemptions for applications that require immunity above the ten percent (10%) threshold of the national minimum wage.


  • In addition, the system will provide for financial audit triggers as well as random audits.


  • The financial audit triggers come in when information recorded into the system mismatch and random audits are done on randomly selected applicants.


  • This will help determine as to whether the granted exemption is still relevant or needs to be withdrawn.


  • The system will require the employer’s particulars which will include full name of the employer, UIF reference, COIDA number, SARS number, company registration number, nature of business conducted, bargaining council details, address, personal and contact details.


The next employer briefing sessions will be held in Mpumalanga, one in Nelspruit at Promenade Hotel, c/o Samora Machel Drive and Hershall Street on March 12 and another one on March 13 at Piet Retief.

More briefing sessions are lined up for Limpopo (Tzaneen, March 16 and Polokwane, March 17) and the Free State ( Bloemfontein, March 19 and Bethlehem, March 20).

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