Wholesale & Retail Minimum Wages

Frequently asked questions regarding the Wholesale & Retail Minimum wages

1.Four questions regarding the Wholesale and Retail Minimum Wages:1.What is more important, the sectoral determination minimum wages or the National Minimum wages?

Section 4(6) of the National Minimum Wage Act stipulates that the national minimum wage takes precedence over any contrary provision in any contract, collective agreement, sectoral determination or law.  In other words, the National Minimum Wage Act takes precedent over the current sectoral determination.

2.The National Minimum Wage act is effective from the 1st of January 2019.  However, the Wholesale and Retail minimum wages is expected to become available in February 2019.  Should we wait for the sectoral determination? 

No, it is advisable that minimum wages needs to be paid as from the 1st of January 2019.  However, the Labour Department has given no indication that the Wholesale and Retail minimum wages would be released in February 2019, or even at all in 2019.  Until further notice, as from the 1st of January 2019, all employees (excluding domestic workers and farm workers) may not receive payment below R20 per hour.   

3.What should we do if we have not yet implemented the national minimum wage?

Any employer that has not implemented the national minimum wage runs the risk of being taken to the CCMA, and may be subjected to a fine.

It is advised that such employers inform their employees of their planned implementation of the national minimum wage, and to advise them that there would be back pay upon implementation to the 1st of January 2019.  

4.What should we do if we cannot pay the national minimum wages?

It is advised that you go to the labour department website at www.labour.gov.za, and click on the “National Minimum Wage Exemption” button.  You can register through the website and apply.    

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