February 9, 2022

National Minimum Wage Act Amendment

Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has announced National Minimum Wage (NMW) figures for 2022 which will come into effect in March.

Each ordinary hour worked has been increased from R21.69 to R23.19.

This announcement is in terms of Section 6 (5) of the NMW Act, No 9 of 2018, to amend the NMW contained in Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 of the National Minimum Act, published under Government Notice No. 44136.

As in previous years, the adjustment provides exceptions for several worker groups, including:

  • Farmworkers are entitled to a minimum wage of R23.19 per hour
  • Domestic workers are entitled to a minimum wage of R23.19 per hour
  • Workers employed on an expanded public works programme are entitled to a minimum wage of R12.75 per hour
  • Workers who have concluded learnership agreements contemplated in section 17 of the Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act No 97 of 1998), are entitled to allowances contained in schedule 2.

The department has warned employers against changing working hours to avoid paying the national minimum wage.

“It is illegal and unfair labour practise for an employer to unilaterally change working hours or other employment conditions in order to implement the NMW. The NMW is the amount payable for ordinary hours of work and excludes payment of allowances (such as transportation, tools, food, or lodging), payments in kind (board or lodging), tips, bonuses, and gifts,” said Nxesi.

The Act of 2018 requires the NMW Commission to review the rates on an annual basis and make recommendations to the Minister on any changes to the national minimum wage, while also taking into account alternative viewpoints, including those of the general public.

The Commission considers the following factors when determining the annual adjustment:

  • Inflation
  • The cost of living
  • The need to maintain the value of the minimum wage
  • Gross domestic product
  • Wage levels and collective bargaining outcomes
  • Productivity
  • Employers’ ability to carry on their businesses successfully
  • The operation of small, medium, or micro-enterprises and new enterprises
  • The likely impact of the recommended adjustment on employment or the creation of employment.

Employees earning more than R224,080.48 per year are exempt from sections 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17(2) and 18(3) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) as of March 1, 2022.

These sections protect vulnerable employees by regulating, among other things, working hours, overtime, and compressed schedules. working time, average hours of work, meals interval, daily and weekly rest periods, pay for work on Sundays, night work, and work on public holidays.

Please see the below link to the National Minimum Wage Act Amendment 2022 for more specific details.

National Minimum Wage Act Amendment