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Parliament Seeks Comment on NMW Amendment Bill

February 26, 2019

Portfolio Committee on Labour

The portfolio committee on labour has called for comment on the Draft National Minimum Wage Amendment Bill.

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, section 17(4) of the act incorrectly refers 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 draft bill aims to:

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

Comment is invited until 15 March 2019.