National Minimum Wage


National Minimum Wage enters final stage as NCOP approves multiple bills

The National Minimum Wage has long been a contentious issue. The National Council of Provinces has officially passed the bill, that means there is just one more place to go.

National Minimum Wage


On Tuesday, the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) passed several important bills without amendments. The most noteworthy of those? The hotly debated National Minimum Wage Bill.

Each of the bills passed in the afternoon will now make their way to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s desk to officially be signed into law. Before the bills reached the NCOP they were debated on and passed by members of parliament.

“Bills which the National Council of Provinces approved at its sitting this afternoon – and which will now be sent to the President for assent – are the Labour Laws Amendment Bill (a Private Member’s Bill), the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill, the National Minimum Wage Bill and the Labour Relations Amendment Bil,” Parliament media office confirmed in a statement.

So what are these bills meant to achieve?

The Labour Laws Amendment Bill provides for parental leave for fathers as well as adoption and surrogacy leave. The National Minimum Wage Bill, on the other hand, looks to enforce that all workers are paid a set minimum wage. A National Minimum Wage Commission will also be established.

With the minimum wage bill being put forward before Parliment in November 2017, Ramaphosa is expected to move with haste to sign of the bill he has championed.

How much is the National Minimum Wage?

According to various analysts, the NMW bill sets a minimum wage of R20 per ordinary hour worked. This wage will be reviewed within 18 months of the commencement of the NMW Act and will be adjusted within two years of the commencement of the Act.

Read: South Africa’s minimum wage debate – 24,000 domestic workers lose their jobs in 2018

The calculation of a wage is the amount payable to a worker in money for ordinary hours of work. Any payment to enable the worker to work (unless specified otherwise in a sectoral determination), any payment in kind (unless specified otherwise in a sectoral determination) and gratuities, bonuses, tips and gifts are excluded in the calculation

Of course, there are some exceptions, farm workers, domestic workers, learners employed in terms of the Skills Development Act and workers on expanded public works programmes will have different minimum hourly rates. These will apply from a date to be fixed by the President.