09 March 2018 Read: 103
In January 2018, it was announced that the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for employees in the farm and forestry sectors are set to increase by 5.6 percent as of 1 March 2018. This implementation is one year earlier than initially announced.
The National Minimum Wage has been announced to be in full effect as of 1 May 2018, however after numerous discussions regarding the agricultural sector, the agricultural sector will initially only have to pay 90% of the wage. “Agri SA places a high value on the labour force in the agricultural sector. This sector is still afflicted by drought in many parts of the country and various farmers have not yet recovered from the impact thereof”, states Neil Hamman, Agri SA Labour Committee Chairman. The increase for farmers as of 1 May 2018 is a hefty 16.96 percent, which is why the decision was made that farmers and employers in this sector start with a smaller increase on 1 March 2018. New Minimum Wage for Farm and Forestry workers sector in March 2018 is R 15,39 per hour. From 1 May 2018, this is to go up again to R 18 per hour and by 1 May 2019 to the full intended R 20 per hour.
For farmers in hardship, an application for a section 50 variation can be made. This opportunity to apply came into effect prior to the new NMW come into effect on 1 March. Please know that this variation can only serve as a temporary relief as it can only be granted for a period of one year.