National minimum wage inspections will start next month
The Department of Labour’s Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES) branch says it will embark on a national blitz campaign in February to assess levels of compliance with labour laws – particularly the newly-introduced National Minimum Wage.
The department said that 1,392 inspectors are ready to monitor compliance with the National Minimum Wage Act.
According to the deputy director-general of the IES, Aggy Moiloa, the department will be using its Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) specialist inspectors to enforce the act.
The blitz campaign would focus on advocacy, inspections and enforcement. The wholesale and retail sectors have been identified as problematic areas, and will be of particular focus.
The National Minimum Wage came into effect on 1 January 2019. The wage is R20, the minimum rate at which workers should earn per hour, with a few exceptions. Agricultural/farm workers have a minimum set at R18 per hour, and domestic workers at R15 per hour.
Moiloa said the department was aware of the burden imposed by NMW to the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration’s (CCMA) resources and was ready to assist.
She said aggrieved workers on issues of NMW can take their complaints to the Department’s Labour Centres, or directly report to the CCMA.
The CCMA said that as of Friday (January 25) it has received 405 referrals on the newly-implemented NMW, contributing a 3.2% rise in its case load.
As part of its readiness the labour department already had the following in place:
* A case management systems has been developed;
* CCMA has conducted training on their system in order for the inspectorate to refer cases; and
* Inspectors have been trained to monitor compliance with the NMW Act.
Employers who are found to not be in compliance with the new laws will face penalties – specifically, a fine.
The fine is calculated per employee as the greater amount of double the value of the underpayment or double the employee’s monthly wage.