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Almost all South African workers are regulated by minimum wages, be it the controversial sectoral minimum wages negotiated in bargaining councils, and often undemocratically extended to non-parties, or minimum wages prescribed by the Government.
South Africa’s current national state of disaster, and the uncertainty that has gripped the world, will especially impact the most vulnerable groups in our society. That includes those in casual or insecure employment who face two possibilities in the reality of social distancing: loss of income, or ongoing exposure to the virus through the front-line nature of their work.
Labour unions are undoubtedly the biggest obstacle to any positive reform, not because this particular group of individuals is somehow more evil than the rest of us. It is simply a rational response to the particular set of incentives that union bosses are faced with.
The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is a crime against the poor of this country as it absolutely forbids them from accepting any compensation below the floor set by government. It is reasonable, therefore, to assume that some people who could be working are not employed because of the minimum wage.
Oxfam is at it again. With their latest report we are back to the same old mantra: wealth inequality is on the rise and the only solution is to tax the hell out of the rich. Further reflection reveals that the solution isn’t that simple. But first, some relevant distinctions.
Times are tough. A number of factors such as the increasing petrol price, the impending new minimum wage and ever more competitive business landscape, have many companies feeling the pinch and exploring creative ways to minimise costs and maximise profits.
Executive directors are facing a number of challenges and their companies are increasingly being held to account for their contribution to social upliftment in the face of pervasive inequality. Recent corporate failures have highlighted the importance of good corporate governance and ensuring that remuneration packages are appropriately structured so as to not drive excessive risk-taking.
The National Minimum Wage (NMW) Bill has been passed by the National Assembly and sent for concurrence to the National Council of Provinces. The implementation date of the NMW Bill will be announced after the National Council of Provinces (NCOP's) select committee considers the NMW Bill. The NMW legislation is intended to provide for a national minimum wage; to establish a National Minimum Wage Commission; to review and annually adjust the national minimum wage and provide for exemption from paying the national minimum wage.
In order to strike the balance between carrying the financial impact of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and minimising job losses, organisations need to ensure they are prepared. Understanding the impact of the NMW, and the solutions available to mitigate it, can enable businesses to manage this process and strike that balance.