DOL Issues Statement on Worker Definition in Minimum Wage Bill

Department of Labour

The labour department has expressed regret for the change in wording of the definition of worker as contained in the National Minimum Wage Bill.

The bill was tabled in parliament at the end of November 2017.

It seeks to:

•    Provide for a national minimum wage;
•    Establish the National Minimum Wage Commission;
•    Provide for the composition and functions of the National Minimum Wage Commission;
•    Provide for the review and annual adjustment of the national minimum wage;
•    Provide for exemption from paying the national minimum wage;
•    Provide for transitional provisions in respect of farm workers and domestic workers; and
•    Provide for matters connected therein.

The definition as agreed to at Nedlac was changed to the narrower definition of workers as “employees”.

The earlier version referred to workers as meaning “any person who works for another and who receives, or is entitled to receive, any payment for that work whether in money or in kind.” 

The bill defined a worker as “an employee as defined in section 1 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.”

In a statement, the department indicated that the change to the definition “occurred during the certification process between the Office of the Chief State Law Adviser and the Department’s drafters.”

The department added that the definition would be corrected.

“The Department stands by the version of the Bill agreed to in NEDLAC.”

Meanwhile, the department, in Government Gazette 41419, has issued a request for proposal for a subsidy scheme for workshops for persons with disabilities.

Non-profit organisations are invited to express their interest to benefit from a three-year funding cycle under the subsidy scheme.

Submissions are invited until 7 February 2018.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

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