23 April 2018

South Africa: Labour Roadshow On System Options for Employers Seeking Exemption

press release

"The system will give one of the three outcomes on the employer's application for exemption. It will either grant exemption, reject or refer your application for audit review," Kekulu Padi, Assistant Director, Employment Standards in the Department of labour told employers during National Minimum Wage Road show in Bethlehem today, April 20, 2018

Employers were further told that in instances that they are referred for audit review, they will be given no more than 7 days to furnish the Department of Labour with the required additional information. The Department will then analyse the application and provide a response to the affected employer within 30 days of the date of application.

In terms of the new regulations giving effect to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Act, one of the set criteria is that employers should comply with other pieces of labour legislation such as Unemployment Insurance Act, Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act as well as the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act. Failure to comply with the afore-mentioned laws will result in the application being automatically rejected.

Employers were also made aware that exemption can only be granted for the period not exceeding 12 months. Approval may be withdrawn should it be found that the employer falsified or incorrectly captured his/her information on the system. Other conditions upon which the exemption certificate may be withdrawn include instances where it is found that the employer's financial position has improved to the extent that they are able to pay the NMW.

The system will also respond to some of the challenges and frustrations shared by employers that their applications for exemptions as per the current Sectoral Determinations are responded to very late, as employers will get a response immediately after the submission of the application.

Consultations with employees and trade unions is one of the critical components of the process through which any employer who wishes to apply for exemption must go through.

"We want to make it unequivocally clear that bargaining council has no jurisdiction on the wages below the national minimum wage, and on the same token, the Department of Labour has got no jurisdiction on wages above what is prescribed by the NMW," concluded Mr Steven Rathai - Director for Employment Standard.

The last meeting in a series of national road shows on National Minimum Wages, with particular focus on exemptions, which were rolled-out throughout the whole country by the Department of Labour will take place at Ngwenya Hotel in Klerksdorp, North West on April 24.

Issued by: Department of Labour

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