By Kamva Somdyala
Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant says government will name and shame employers who fail to comply with the national minimum wage.
The National Minimum Wage Act came into effect at the start of this year and stipulates that employers should pay employees a minimum hourly rate of R20. For farm and forestry workers, the amount is R18 per hour, domestic workers R15 and for workers of the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP), the amount is R11.
Speaking at an International Labour Organisation (ILO) event earlier this week, Oliphant said her department is on a national blitz to “assess levels of the National Minimum Wage Act in businesses with over 1 300 inspectors assigned to monitor compliance”.
“Already the department is in the process of naming and shaming employers who fail to comply by publishing them on the department’s website.”
“Government’s political will is to ensure the tough enforcement of the implementation of the minimum wage,” said Oliphant.
She added that her department is aware of a “new tactic that was gathering traction – that of firing workers to undermine the labour laws that seek to address unemployment, inequality and poverty”.
The department will stop these tactics in their tracks, Oliphant warned.
The minister said laws such as the Labour Relations Act (LRA) exist to strengthen relationships between employers and employees.
She also pledged that government will look to increase budgets for the inspectorate and the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
“Ours as a government is to strengthen the inspectorate and the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) monitoring roles.”
Oliphant went on to reassure that government was also committed to investing in the economy of the country to create much-needed jobs.