NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE BILL, 2017
The bill seeks to provide for:
- a national minimum wage; and
- to establish the National minimum wage commission (“the commission”), which will mainly implement the provisions relating to the national minimum wage.
Minimum wage commission:
The National Minimum Wage Bill sets up a 10-member national minimum wage commission that will review the national minimum wage yearly and make recommendations to the Labour Minister, with the Minister announcing pay adjustments on 31 March every year.
The proposed commission will consist of an independent chairperson appointed by the Minister, while organised business, organised community and organised labour will nominate three members each and the Minister will appoint three independent experts. The commission will also be required to investigate the effects of the national minimum wage on the economy.
The Bill gives effect to the agreement on a national minimum wage thrashed out in talks between the government, business, labour and the community in NEDLAC.
Once in force, the National Minimum Wage Bill will make R20.00 the minimum hourly rate for all workers except those in the agricultural and domestic service sectors, and participants in expanded public works programmes – who will receive the following minimum wages:
- farm workers will be R18.00 an hour,
- domestic workers R15.00 an hour, and
- workers in expanded public works programmes R11.00 an hour.
The rate is included in a schedule to the Bill so that it can be adjusted yearly. Exceptions have been provided for the first year.
Workers in the farm, forestry and domestic sectors are expected to earn 100% of the national minimum wage within two years, pending the completion of research by a national minimum wage commission, which will replace the one now responsible for employment conditions.
BASIC CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT AMENDMENT BILL, 2017
The Bill seeks to amend the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 (Act No. 75 of 1997) so as:
- to substitute and insert certain definitions;
- to provide for daily wage payments applicable to certain employees;
- to repeal sections of the Act providing for sectoral determinations and the powers and functions of the Employment Conditions Commission;
- strengthen collective bargaining in industries falling under sectoral determinations;
- to extend the provisions for monitoring and enforcement by the labour inspector to include enforcement of the provisions of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2017, the Unemployment Insurance Act and the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act;
- include compliance with national minimum wage and unemployment insurance legislation among the responsibilities of the department ‘s inspectorate;
- to provide for claims for underpayment;
- to extend the jurisdiction of the CCMA to include enforcement procedures and claims relating to underpayment;
- to provide for transitional arrangements to regulate sectoral determinations currently in force and to strengthen collective bargaining in respect of the sectors regulated by those sectoral determinations; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
Once in effect, the Bill will be underpinned by a code of good practice on collective bargaining, industrial action and picketing which are intended to provide practical guidance on the resolution of disputes of mutual interest and the resort to industrial action.
The proposed new code will be informed by an accord on collective bargaining and industrial action, committing the social partners in NEDLAC to taking the necessary steps to prevent violence, intimidation and damage to property, and to improving their own capacity and that of other agencies to resolve disputes peacefully and expeditiously.
All trade unions and employer organisations will be encouraged to sign the accord.
The National Minimum Wage Bill, 2017 and the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill, 2017