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National Minimum Wage Amendment Bill Passed

March 12, 2020


Parliament has given the green light to the National Minimum Wage Amendment Bill.

The bill was tabled in parliament in March 2019.

The national assembly passed the bill and sent it to the national council of provinces for concurrence in the same month.

The portfolio committee on labour called for comment on the proposed legislation in February 2019.

The bill lapsed in May 2019 but was revived by the NCOP in October 2019.

The committee bill aims to:
• amend the National Minimum Wage Act, 2018, so as to correct a cross-reference; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The committee met in January 2019 to discuss the need for a draft bill to deal with a technical error found in the National Minimum Wage Act.

The act, setting a minimum wage of R20 per hour, came into force on 1 January 2019.

The special meeting of the committee discussed how the error could be corrected.

According to a parliamentary legal advisor at the time, section 17(4) of the act incorrectly referred to cross-section 4(6) rather than 4(8) in terms of retrospective effect from 1 May 2017.

Section 4(8) stipulates that it is an unfair labour practice for an employer to unilaterally alter wages, hours of work and other conditions of employment.

The section wants to prevent a situation where an employer unilaterally changed certain conditions of employment once the bill had been tabled in parliament to avoid paying the minimum wage.

Currently, the act stipulates that, in accordance with section 4(6), the minimum wage be back-dated to 1 May 2017.

The bill aims to ensure that section 17(4) of the act refers to section 4(8) instead.

It has been sent to president Ramaphosa for assent.