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The national minimum wage (NMW), as well as minimum wages in some other sectors, will increase with effect from 1 March 2020.

R20,76 per hour
The minimum wage of R20 per hour will increase to R20,76 per hour (an increase of 3,8%). The new minimum sets a new baseline across all sectors, with a few exceptions.

The exceptions include domestic workers, farm/forestry workers, workers employed in Expanded Public Works Programmes and workers with learnership agreements in terms of the Skills Development Act. These minimum wages will be as follows:

- Domestic workers: R15,57 per hour

- Farm/forestry workers: R18,68 per hour

- Workers employed on Expanded Public Works: R11,42 per hour

- Workers with learnership agreements: See schedule in the link to the Government Gazette below.

Increases in other sectors
Employers in SD9: Wholesale and Retail Sector, as well as SD1: Contract Cleaning Sector, will have to increase their minimum rates as well. Details about these minimum wages can be found in the Government Gazette (GG) – click here. Although not addressed by the GG, other sectors where the minimum wage is still R20 per hour (and which are not mentioned in this particular GG), would also have to comply with the new minimum of R20,76 per hour from 1 March 2020.

Are benefits included?
Employers are reminded that the way that they structure a remuneration package is restricted. The NMW excludes allowances that are paid to enable employees to work (such as transport and equipment), or payment in kind (such as board or accommodation), as well as bonuses, tips or food. So, for example, one cannot argue that you pay an employee less than the minimum wage because you contribute to their uniform or provide them with meals.

There is provision for employers to apply for exemption, which may result in the amount that they would have to pay being reduced by up to a 10%. The National Minimum Wage Exemption System is accessible online at Alternatively, employers may approach their nearest branch of the Department of Labour.

Jan Truter for

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