Today's Labour News

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parliamentBusinessLive reports that a numbering error in the National Minimum Wage Act has bungled a clause that protects workers from employers who intend to circumvent the new law.  

According to the law, which kicks in on 1 January 2019, employers are not allowed to pay eligible workers less than R20 an hour.  However, the 1 May 2017 "retrospective" implementation of a section stating that it is an "unfair labour practice for an employer to unilaterally alter wages, hours of work or other conditions of employment in connection with the implementation of the national minimum wage", ended up being cross-referenced to the wrong clause in the act.  So, workers whose benefits or working conditions have been changed unilaterally in reaction to the new minimum wage law will have to wait until parliament fixes the error before they can take action against employers.  The mistake has been attributed to "human error".  Cosatu’s Matthew Parks said the blunder was a "massive crisis" that could put many workers at risk.  It left workers “exposed and vulnerable to employers who may have reduced their wages and benefits in the run-up to the national minimum wage," he said.  Parliament’s labour committee and the department of labour have said they were aware of the error and committed to fixing it in the new year when MPs returned from recess.

  • Read Theto Mahlakoana’s full report on this story at BusinessLive

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