05.04.2018

National Minimum Wage implementation date postponed

The National Minimum Wage Bill and the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill jointly seek to transition South Africa from sectoral wage determinations towards a single minimum wage applicable on all industries in South Africa. These Bills are currently under discussion at the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Labour. As per the agreement reached between Labour, Government and Business at Nedlac, the National Minimum Wage was due to come into effect on the 1st of May 2018 - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Head: Legal Intelligence

The National Minimum Wage Bill and the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill jointly seek to transition South Africa from sectoral wage determinations towards a single minimum wage applicable on all industries in South Africa. These Bills are currently under discussion at the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Labour. As per the agreement reached between Labour, Government and Business at Nedlac, the National Minimum Wage was due to come into effect on the 1st of May 2018.
 
Be that as it may, the Portfolio Committee identified the need to investigate certain provisions in the Bill as well as transitional arrangements when moving over to the new system which require more time than originally anticipated. As such, it was announced that the implementation date will not be met. Although no new date has been set, it may take up to 3 extra months to finalise the Bills. In the long run it is a positive sign that the Bills are not being rushed as there are key elements that still need to be definitively addressed, for example, how non-wage related conditions of employment will be regulated in the future where industries, such as primary agriculture, do not have bargaining councils. The Department of Labour is furthermore busy piloting the electronic application system for exemptions and it is vital that the niggles in this system are ironed out before the national minimum wage comes into effect as the Department is likely to be inundated with applications as soon as the national minimum wage comes into effect.
 
In the meantime, wages continue to be regulated by the sectoral determination (13) for Agriculture and collective agreements in secondary industries where bargaining councils have been established.    
 
ENQUIRIES:
Theo Boshoff (Theo@agbiz.co.za)
012 807 6686

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