Applications for minimum wage exemptions to go online

The Department of Labour will introduce an online system for national minimum wage exemptions.
The Department of Labour will introduce an online system for national minimum wage exemptions.

The Department of Labour (DOL) is developing an online system to help analyse data submitted by employers when applying for national minimum wage exemptions.

This was revealed by Thembinkosi Mkalipi, director of collective bargaining at the DOL.

South Africa's National Minimum Wage Bill aims to ensure employers do not pay wages that are below the agreed minimum wage of R20 an hour for major sectors.

The Bill also states it is unfair labour practice for an employer to unilaterally alter hours of work or other conditions of employment in implementing the national minimum wage. Government plans to implement the minimum wage Bill starting 1 May.

According to the labour department, exemptions cover employers who can demonstrate they are not able to pay the national minimum wage.

The department has not indicated when the online system will go live, but cautioned employers that there were serious consequences in the case of misrepresentation of facts in the exemptions.

Mkalipi stated the national minimum wage was an outcome of a compromise.

"There are things in this Bill that business does not like, and there are things in this Bill that labour does not like.

"This Bill is an outcome of a compromise. It is an agreement of win-win and lose-lose for all parties. At Nedlac, we managed to strike a balance in that while we do not destroy jobs we also save jobs," Mkalipi pointed out.

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