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The National Minimum Wage Commission recently proposed an above-inflation rate increase for domestic workers, which would put the minimum hourly rate at R25,05. Public input must now be collected, after which the commission will send a final report to Department of Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi, and he will make a final determination.
If the increase comes into effect, the minimum hourly rate for domestic workers in 2023 will be R25.05, which works out to around R200 per day for an 8-hour day. This means a domestic worker who works 8 hours per day for 20 days per month will earn a minimum of R4008.
Yes. The National Minimum Wage Act 9 of 2018 (NMWA) is very clear that it applies to all workers and their employers except members of the National Defence Force, the National Intelligence Agency and the South African Secret Service. However, different sectors can have different minimum wages based on collective agreements called sectoral determinations. When it talks about “workers”, it means any person who works for another and who receives, or is entitled to receive, any payment for that work whether in money or in kind.
No. Employers cannot reduce your salary to be in line with the minimum wage if they find out they have been paying you more. If they are paying you less than the minimum wage, the employer must increase your pay to be at least minimum wage or higher.
They also cannot get around the minimum wage by changing your hours of work or other conditions of your employment, for example, by telling you to come in less days, or by taking away benefits that are part of your employment contract, like accommodation. If they do this, it could be an unfair labour practice, as any changes to your working conditions must be done by discussing the situation with you, the worker, and by you and your employer coming to an agreement. The employer also cannot threaten you with retrenchment if you refuse to accept their lower offer.
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* This is only basic legal advice and cannot be relied on solely. The information is correct at the time of being sent to publishing.
Date added: 25 January 2023
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