The national minimum wage (NMW), as well as minimum wages in some other sectors, will increase with effect from 1 March 2022.
R23,19 per hour
The minimum wage of R21,69 per hour will increase to R23,19 per hour (an increase of approximately 6,9%). The new minimum sets a new baseline across all sectors, with a few exceptions.
Farmworkers and domestic workers
Last year farmworkers received a significant increase to bring their minimum wage in line with that of most others. This year the minimum rate for domestic workers is being increased by 21,5% which will bring them up to par with others at R23.19 per hour.
The exceptions are as follows:
- Workers employed on Expanded Public Works: R12,75 per hour
- Workers with learnership agreements in terms of the Skills Development Act: See schedule in the link to the Government Gazette below
Increases in other sectors
Employers in SD9: Wholesale and Retail Sector will have to increase their minimum rates (which depends on the job category, but starts at R23,19). Employers in the SD1: Contract Cleaning Sector will also have to increase their minimum rates, starting at R23,27). More details can be found in the Government Gazette (GG) – click here.
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. The National Minimum Wage Exemption System is accessible online at https://nmw.labour.gov.za. Alternatively, employers may approach their nearest branch of the Department of Employment and Labour.