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National Minimum Wage Increases

The National Minimum wage will increase from 1 March 2021. The Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi announced that the increase would be by 93 cents. 

The new minimum wage will now be R21.69 per hour, making this the absolute minimum that any employee should be paid.

The National Minimum Wage Act was introduced on 1 March 2019. When the act came into effect, the minimum wage was declared R20,76 per hour. 

The Act states that it is unfair for employers to alter the working hours and conditions for employees in an attempt to manipulate the National Minimum Wage. 

The minimum wage does not include the payment transport, tools, food, accommodation, tips or bonuses. 

The wage is reviewed annually by the Minister of Employment and Labour by taking into consideration the views of the public as well as recommendations from the Commission.

“In considering the annual adjustment, the Commission considered the following factors: inflation, the cost of living, and the need to retain the value of the minimum wage; gross domestic product; wage levels and collective bargaining outcomes; productivity; ability of employers to carry on their businesses successfully; the operation of small, medium or micro-enterprises and new enterprises, and the likely impact of the recommendation adjustment on employment or the creation of employment,” said the Department of Employment and Labour in a statement.

The rate for farm workers has now been aligned to R21,96 per hour, following a transitional phase. 

Domestic workers are entitled to R19,09 per hour, which could be aligned with the National Minimum Wage during the next review process. 

Workers in Expanded Public Works Programmes are entitled to be paid R11,93 per hour, while workers who have completed learnerships are entitled to receive allowances determined in the national qualifications framework level. 

"In line with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), the increase in the NMW will mean that wages prescribed in the sectoral determinations that were higher than the NMW at its promulgation, must be increased proportionally to the adjustment of the national minimum wage. Therefore, the Contract Cleaning; and Wholesale and Retail Sector will also have their wages upwardly adjusted by 4,5 percent." said the department. 

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