18 February 2019

South Africa: Are You Complying With the Minimum Wage Act?

Penalties are in place to deal with employers who contravene the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Act.

Employers who fail to comply with the act will be shamed as the Department of Labour will publish their names on their website.

Other penalties include compelling non-compliant employers to pay the worker twice the amount that is owed for non-payment.

There will be no hiding as the department is also undertaking a national blitz to assess levels of the NMW Act.

About 1 392 inspectors will crisscross the country to monitor compliance.

A special focus of the inspection will be on the wholesale and retail sectors as they have been identified as some of the problematic sectors.

"Shaming such employers will ensure they are recognized as people intent on defying the state. This will go on to ensure that they will not be able to do business with government," said the department's Chief for Statutory Services Fikiswa Mncanca.

The purpose of the NMW is to advance economic development and social justice by improving the wages of the lowest paid workers, protecting workers from unreasonable low wages, preserving the value of the NMW, promoting collective bargaining and supporting economic policy.

The Act, which came into effect on 01 January 2019, stipulates that R20 is the minimum rate workers should earn per hour. For farm and forestry workers - it is R18.00 per hour, domestic workers R15.00 per hour and for Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) it is R11.00 per hour.

These fees will be reviewed annually by the National Minimum Wage Commission.

Meanwhile, the department on Monday announced that the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) will be on the road once again to conduct a door-to-door campaign in targeting areas of Olifantshoek, Postmasburg, Lime Acres and Danielskuil in the Northern Cape.

The team of UIF employees accompanied by Employer Audits inspectors have been knocking on doors in various workplaces from this morning to assess the level of compliance with the Unemployment Insurance Act (UIA) and Unemployment Insurance Contribution Act (UICA).

The campaign is also meant to promote online declaration through U-Filing for which the team will assist employers on all aspects of registration, compliance as well as to resolve UIF enquiries.

"These door-to-door campaigns are essential in ensuring that the Department of Labour keeps in touch with the employers and employees and assess the quality of services it renders, whilst it promotes compliance with the Unemployment Insurance Act," said Chief Director: Provincial Operations Zolile Albanie.

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