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Parly committee agrees to fix technical glitch in new Minimum Wage Act

The glitch was picked up late in 2018 and will now be corrected by an amendment bill the labour committee will draft once it has the approval of the National Assembly.

Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament’s labour portfolio committee has agreed to fix a technical glitch affecting the new National Minimum Wage Act by way of an amendment bill, while stressing that the new legislation is in full force and effect.

The committee held a special meeting on Wednesday to decide on how best to speedily fix an incorrect cross-reference in the bill.

It relates to a section that makes it an unfair labour practice for an employer to unilaterally change a worker’s wages or other conditions of employment in connection with the implementation of the minimum wage.

The glitch was picked up late in 2018 and will now be corrected by an amendment bill the labour committee will draft once it has the approval of the National Assembly.

Committee chairperson Lemias Mashile has stressed, however, that the technical amendment has no impact on the implementation of the National Minimum Wage Act.

The act was promulgated without the incorrect section, which aims to protect workers from employers who try to circumvent the new law.

“The National Minimum Wage Act is law, and it is law as of 1 January 2019. All provisions in the law are effective,” Mashile said.

“We still call upon employers to comply with the Act. They must pay people the national minimum wages as specified in the Act.”

The committee’s amendment bill will ensure that workers whose employers unilaterally changed their pay or working conditions ahead of the new law taking effect will be able to seek redress for an unfair labour practice.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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