20 January 2022
NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE
COMMISSION RECOMMENDS ADJUSTMENT
NEASA SUBMITS REPRESENTATIONS
On 14 January 2022 the National Employers’ Association of South Africa (NEASA) submitted its written representations on the National Minimum Wage Commission’s (NMWC) recommendation report on the proposed adjustment to the national minimum wage (NMW), to the Department of Employment and Labour.
Despite NEASA’s initial submissions on the Commission’s draft recommendation report of September 2021, warning against the negative effects and devastating impact of any upward adjustment to the NMW in the current economic climate of South Africa, the majority of the commissioners recommended an increase of inflation (as measured by the consumer price index [CPI]) plus 1%. The Commission furthermore recommends that the minimum wage of domestic workers be equalised to that of the NMW.
The Commission wishes to argue that, due to the easing of the lockdown restrictions in 2022, wages should be increased drastically, across the board, including the NMW. NEASA deems this as a step in the wrong direction. The eased lockdown period of 2022 should be used to allow crippled and dying businesses to regain their strength and recover from the past two years.
If they are not afforded this opportunity and they don’t recover, the jobs that were lost, and which have not been regained in 2021, will never be regained. The total employment in 2021 remained 1.4 million lower than 2020 – if job creation is not stimulated in every possible way, this tragic statistic will not be improved.
If the Minister of Employment and Labour and his department accept the recommendations of the Commission, NEASA places upon their conscience the job losses, business closures, retrenchments, benefit losses and all other adverse effects of their decision.
We will keep employers abreast of any developments in this regard, as well as on the Minister’s decision, consequent to the Commission’s recommendation report of adjusting the NMW upward.
To read NEASA’s full submission, please click here.
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