Labour outlines five-point plan to enforce new minimum wage

The Department of Labour’s director general, Thobile Lamati, has outlined a five-point plan to ensure national compliance once the new minimum wage comes into effect.

Since the department will be under-resourced, he explained that the number of inspectors would increase and new training programmes would be used to upskill staff. However, Lamati emphasised that first and foremost government would rely on its social partners as grass-roots inspectors. “In any workplace, we expect that workers and unions would inform the Department of Labour wherever there are issues of non-compliance.”

Next it will focus on encouraging employers to be accountable for their constituencies complying with labour law.

Thirdly, running parallel to proactive daily inspections, the department will conduct blitz inspections ‘targeting areas that are notorious for non-compliance’.

In addition, the inspection process will be streamlined. The inspector will no longer need to issue a non-compliance order if the employer issues an undertaking to comply.

The final point will be to empower the CCMA to handle compliance orders. “The compliance order does not have to go to the Labour Court any more. It will go to the CCMA where they will issue a compliance order that will carry the same weight as the labour court.”

Lamati said the department would prioritise advocacy and education to ensure employers were aware of compliance requirements.

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