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Relief for farm workers who reap a better wage

Employment news
Relief for farm workers who reap a better wage

Many farm workers will find it easier to make ends meet this month thanks to the rise in their minimum wages that took effect in March. Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant announced the rise as part of legislation to protect vulnerable workers.

“In terms of sectoral determination for farm workers, the minimum wages will be adjusted upwards from 1 March 2012 to 28 February 2013 from an hourly rate of R7,04 to R7,71; a weekly rate of  R317,51 to R347,10 and monthly minimum wages of R1 375,94 to R1 503,90, calculated on a 45 ordinary hour week,” said Page Boikanyo, spokesperson of the Department of Labour.

The minimum adjustment of rates for the successive periods of 1 March 2013 to 28 February 2014 will be the previous year’s minimum wage plus the consumer price index (CPI) + 1, 5 per cent, said Boikanyo.

The Minister set the wage increase on the advice of the Employment Conditions Commission following a long consultation process and public hearings. They took into consideration the views of various stakeholders.

Sectoral determination deals with the protection of workers in vulnerable sectors. The determination sets minimum working hours, minimum wages, number of leave days and termination rules. The latest adjustment follows that of the domestic sector, which was nudged upward in December 2011.

“The department wishes to inform employers who choose to ignore the farm workers’ sector determination, to do so at their own peril,” Boikanyo said.

“Our inspection and enforcement teams will be at hand to ensure that the law is implemented to the letter.”

-LIoyd Ramutloa, Department of Labour