The President signed the National Minimum Wage Act into law on 23 November 2018.
In terms of this Act, all employers, irrespective of which industry they are operating in, must pay at least the minimum wages as set out below:
R 15.00 per hour for domestic workers;
R 18.00 per hour for farm workers; and
R 20.00 per hour in respect of all other employees.
The effective implementation date for these wages have not yet been promulgated but all indications are that it will become effective on 1 January 2019.
Although the Act makes provision for employers to apply for exemption from the minimum wage, it is clear from the draft exemption regulations that the Department of Labour is simply paying lip service to this principle.
The maximum exemption an employer will be able to qualify for will be a 10% reduction on the prescribed minimum wage, which will only be granted for a year, and which will be adjudged on the employers’ profitability, solvency and liquidity. This outcome hardly seems worth the effort taking into account the inevitable red tape that will accompany the application.