Remuneration & Payroll News South Africa

National minimum wage increases

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) for each ordinary hour worked has been increased from R21.69 to R23.19 for the year 2022 with effect from 1 March 2022.
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“This announcement is in terms of Section 6 (5) of the NMW Act, No 9 of 2018, to amend the NMW contained in Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 of the National Minimum Act, published under Government Notice No. 44136,” Minister of Employment and Labour Minister, Thulas Nxesi said on Tuesday.

Unlike previous years, the adjustment no longer provides exceptions for specific worker groups.

These groups used to include farmworkers and domestic workers; however they are also now entitled to a minimum wage of R23.19 per hour.

Workers employed on an expanded public works programme are entitled to a minimum wage of R12.75 per hour while workers who have concluded learnership agreements contemplated in section 17 of the Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act No 97 of 1998), are entitled to allowances contained in schedule 2.

“It is illegal and unfair labour practice for an employer to unilaterally change working hours or other employment conditions in order to implement the NMW. The NMW is the amount payable for ordinary hours of work and excludes payment of allowances (such as transportation, tools, food, or lodging), payments in kind (board or lodging), tips, bonuses, and gifts,” the Minister said.

The Act of 2018 requires the NMW Commission to review the rates on an annual basis and make recommendations to the Minister on any changes to the national minimum wage, while also taking into account alternative viewpoints, including those of the general public.

When determining the annual adjustment the Commission considers inflation, the cost of living, and the need to maintain the value of the minimum wage and gross domestic product.

It also considers wage levels and collective bargaining outcomes; productivity; employers' ability to carry on their businesses successfully; the operation of small, medium, or micro-enterprises and new enterprises; and the likely impact of the recommended adjustment on employment or the creation of employment.

“Employees earning more than R224,080.48 per year are exempt from sections 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17(2) and 18(3) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) as of March 1, 2022.

“These sections protect vulnerable employees by regulating, among other things, working hours, overtime, and compressed schedules. Working time, average hours of work, meals interval, daily and weekly rest periods, pay for work on Sundays, night work, and work on public holidays,” the Minister said.

The department has identified an error in the published BCEA gazette that incorrectly states the effective date as 1 March 2021; this error is currently being reviewed and will be corrected. The correct date of effect is 1 March 2022.

The tables for the adjustments to the Contract Cleaning, Wholesale and Retail sectors, and learnership allowances rates are available on the departmental website

Source: is a South African government news service, published by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). (formerly BuaNews) was established to provide quick and easy access to articles and feature stories aimed at keeping the public informed about the implementation of government mandates.

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