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Everything you need to know about the minimum wage

Written by Dale Hes

Every working South African has the right to a fair salary to support themselves and their families.

With the National Minimum Wage (NMW) officially passed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the beginning of this year, this right is now officially protected.Through the NMW, workers in most sectors must be paid no less than R20 per hour.

The Minister of Labour, Mildred Oliphant, said the NMW would not replace the minimum wages that had already been agreed to through the collective bargaining agreements.

“The minimum wage will benefit particularly those who are still earning far less than the proposed R20 an hour. A sector that will benefit immensely is the hospitality industry, where you find that workers are often only earning through tips,” she said.

Your rights under the NMW Act of 2018:

Under the NMW, workers in most sectors must be paid no less than R20 per hour of work.

This excludes farm workers, who must be paid at least R18 per hour, domestic workers (R15 per hour) and EPWP workers (R11 per hour).

You must be paid at least the minimum wage for every hour that you work. If you work for less than four hours on a day, you must still be paid for a full four hours.

How much should you be earning per month?

If you are earning R20 per hour and work for eight hours per day for five days of the week, then you should be paid R800 per week. In a month, your employer must pay you R3 466.40.

If you are earning R20 per hour and work for nine hours per day for five days of the week, then you should be paid R900 per week. You should be paid R3 899.70 per month.

If you are a farm worker earning R18 per hour and working 40 hours per week, then you need to be paid R3 119.76 per month. If you are working 45 hours per week, then you should be paid R3 509.73.

If you are a domestic worker earning R15 per hour and working 40 hours per week, then you should be paid
R2 599.80 per month. For 45 hours, you should be paid R2 922.75.

What happens if you are paid less than the minimum wage?

Complaints can be made at the nearest Department of Labour office, or can be referred directly to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). The CCMA has opened two phone numbers for receiving enquiries: 011 377 6627 and 011 377 6625.