Insignificant impact of NMW to retrenchments

One of the most serious concerns the South African work force is faced with is blatant inequality in the work place and our government’s seemingly reluctance and inability to not only address the problem but in fact (their inability) to take strong action against employers who continue to ill treat those who work for them.


One of the positives coming from statistics recently released by the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) was that there has been “insignificant” number of retrenchments linked to the introduction of the National Minimum Wage (NMW).
This, we say is indeed good for employers and employees as an indication that despite the introduction of the NMW, employers had decided to “hold-on” to their workers.
Government’s efforts to continue to create job opportunities for the unemployed masses of South Africans as well as its support for the NMW Act must be welcomed.
Haroun Docrat, national senior commissioner for collective bargaining at CCMA said as at 31 May 2019, there had been a relatively low rate of unfair dismissal referrals related to the NMW Act from private security sector. Docrat also said there had been a total of 322 private security referrals since the introduction of the NMW and Basic Conditions of Employment Act amendments.
He was speaking last week during a presentation to the Private Security Seminar organised by the Department of Labour’s Inspections and Enforcement Services (IES) in Braamfontein. The theme of the seminar was: “Paying the National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the right thing to do”. The seminar was organised as part of advocacy campaign to educate its stakeholders about compliance with the labour legislation and also aim to encourage the knowledge sharing between stakeholders in the sector with Government. Some of the private security issues of dispute relate to underpayment; unilateral changes to terms and conditions of employment; any other dismissal related to NMWA; dispute relating to compliance orders; application to make a compliance order on arbitration award; request to make a written undertaking an arbitration award. Docrat emphasised that, “the NMW implementation is law and must be paid”. We agree and urge employers to continue their understanding of the social conditions of their workers who need their jobs to be able to feed their families.
It is common knowledge that the industry was still faced by a number of problems such as employers who do not issue payslips to their workers, not granting their worker reasonable rest periods, non-payment to overtime work, the hiring of undocumented foreign nationals who are either paid less wages or not paid at all.