The national minimum wage (NMW), as well as minimum wages in some other sectors, will increase with effect from 1 March 2023.
R25,42 per hour
The minimum wage of R23,19 per hour will increase to R25,42 per hour (an increase of approximately 9,6%). The new minimum sets a new baseline across all sectors, with a few exceptions.
Farmworkers and domestic workers
The minimum rate for farm workers and domestic workers are both on par with the NMW at R25,42 per hour.
The exceptions are as follows:
- Workers employed on Expanded Public Works: R13,97 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, the lowest of which is in line with the national NMW at R25,42 per hour). Employers in the SD1: Contract Cleaning Sector will also have to increase their minimum rates to a R27,97 minimum in metropolitan areas and R25,50 in certain rural areas). 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 (e.g. 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.