Exemption from the new National Minimum Wage
Under the recently-approved National Minimum Wage (NMW) Bill, which is set for implementation on the 1st of May 2018, employers will have to pay their staff a minimum wage of R20 an hour except for sectors such as the farm/forestry, domestic and expanded public works programme workers, that have been given a longer transition period to pay R18, R15 and R11 per hour respectively.
Section 15 of the NMW Bill makes provision for an employer or an employers’ organisation registered in terms of section 96 of the Labour Relations Act, acting on behalf of its members to apply for an exemption in the prescribed form and manner from paying the national minimum wage.
Companies and businesses that cannot afford the prescribed minimum wage are urged to apply for exemption with the Department of Labour.
The Department of Labour is currently finalising an online system for employers or employers’ organisations. Application for exemptions does not make provision for manual submissions and the process can only be accessed via the NMW website www.nmw.dol.gov.za which will be running in due course.
Exemptions can only be granted if every representative trade union/workers have been meaningfully consulted and all the required information by the system has been provided.
The system will require the employers’ particulars such as:
- Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) reference
- Compensation for Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) number
- South Africa Revenue Services (SARS) number
- Company Registration number
- Nature of business conducted
- Bargaining council
- Address and contact person names and contact details.
Employers should take note that exemptions may be withdrawn if false or incorrect information has been provided, if the employer’s financial position has improved to the extent that the employer is able to pay NMW, or if the employer is not complying with the notice.
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