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Department of Labour NMW briefing sessions told about need to address workplace inequalities

by lloyd last modified 2018-01-19 09:44

18 January 2018

The Department of Labour’s briefing  sessions on the introduction  of the national minimum wage (NMW) resumed in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, today (Thursday) with a senior official of the Department telling stakeholders that the process was aimed at addressing poverty in the workplace as well as inequalities in the labour market.

Virgil Seafield, Deputy Director-General responsible for Labour Policy and Industrial Relations was addressing dozens of stakeholders at Emnotweni Casino. He said the Department also wanted to deal with the disparities in the labour market often brought about by unprotected strikes.

“ When we started with the NMW process we found that farmworkers earned shockingly low wages, we think what we are doing with the NMW is an important step to address the wage disparities in the workplace,” Seafield said.

The objective of the worker briefing sessions is to ensure that the NMW as a new labour policy intervention instrument is communicated to all the intended beneficiaries (workers). This also includes educating the workers on the implications of proposed amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), the Labour Relations Act (LRA), the Accord on Collective Bargaining and Industrial Action and the Code of Good Practice on Collective Bargaining, Industrial Action and Picketing.

The worker engagement/briefing sessions started on 9 November 2017. The briefing sessions are targeting all sectors of the economy. Since the start of the roadshows - NMW and labour amendment briefing sessions have been held in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, George, Pietermaritzburg, Richards Bay, Durban, Tzaneen, and Polokwane.

The National minimum wage is scheduled for implementation from 1 May 2018. The agreed national minimum wage at NEDLAC is pegged at R20 an hour for major sectors, with the exception of sectors such as farm workers, and domestic workers.

More worker NMW and labour amendments briefing sessions are still to be held in Klerksdorp (25 January), Rustenburg (26 January), Bloemfontein (01 February), Welkom (02 February), Umtata (07 February), East London (08 February), Port Elizabeth (09 February), Upington (15 February), and culminating in Kimberley on (16 February).

The briefing sessions on NMW and amendments to labour laws are held from 10:00-13:00. The Mpumalanga briefing sessions will conclude in Witbank at Protea Hotel Marriot Emalahleni - 167 Jellicoe Street tomorrow (Friday). Seafield is being accompanied by Stephen Rathai, Director, Employment Standards, Mogodi Masenya, Assistant Director in the same unit and Selinah Mahlangu, Assistant Director for Collective Bargaining.

Issued by:

Teboho Thejane

Departmental Spokesperson

082 697 0694


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