Minimum wages if not paid can become a dynamite - An Explosive Issue !!!!
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Karma Management Global Consulting Solutions Pvt. Ltd. is an ever-expanding global tech firm that was incorporated in the year 2004 and has now completed almost 18 years of its existence.

Karma Global has taken a lot of initiatives to get connected to global clients in its pursuit to render exemplary services in countries like the US, UK, UAE, Canada, Philippines, and Asia.

It has already made its mark in terms of providing excellent services in the areas of payroll, outsourcing, recruitment and talent acquisition, and regulatory compliance in these foreign countries.

The recent visit of the company’s  CVO and MD, Pratik Vaidya to the US and hundreds of   SME Members has yielded rich dividends in terms of enlarging the business prospects between the two countries and embarking upon newer relationship to work globally on trading transactions and exchange of goods and services.

Karma’s force,  strength, and reach have brought tremendous change over from its earlier image of being a consultancy firm in the period 2000,  to now embarking on setting practices abroad in highly regulated markets and competing in the global arena.  

With India overtaking the UK to emerge as the fifth largest economy in the world and setting to become the third largest by 2029, Karma Management is all poised for long-term value in terms of clients outreach and giving the state of the art technology and excellent services to global clients better than ever before,


Having witnessed the boiling union issues in the US with Amazon and Starbucks, in this blog our focus gets shifted to Labour Law and  Minimum Wages in South Africa.

v Like India,  South Africa also has a sound system for governing its labor law policies, especially in regard to upholding minimum wages  for Domestic Workers

v The Department of Employment and Labor has called on domestic workers, who continue to be paid below the national minimum wage (NMW), to report such violations to the department.

v The department’s Deputy Director: Advocacy and Stakeholder Relations, Caroline Kwetepane, said three years since the introduction of the NMW, some employers are still exploiting and violating the law by underpaying domestic workers.

“In addition to being underpaid, domestic workers are still not given contracts of employment, not handed pay slips, not registered for injuries on duty, not registered for Unemployment Insurance Fund benefits, and not extended leave benefits, among other violations,” she said.

The theme of the seminar was ‘Paying the National Minimum Wage is the Right Thing to Do.

Kwetepane was speaking during the department’s domestic worker seminar held at the weekend at Atteridgeville Community Hall in Tshwane.

The workshop is part of the department’s Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES) branch advocacy program to educate stakeholders on labor laws and promote compliance.

 The program focused on compliance with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) Sectoral Determination, including the National Minimum Wage Act; compliance with the Unemployment Insurance Fund; Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases, and the referral of disputes to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA).


Brief background of  SA’s NMW Act :

The NMW Act of 2018 came into effect on 1 January 2019. The introduction of the policy intervention was in line with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions to improve the living standards of vulnerable domestic workers.

When it was introduced in 2019, the NMW was fixed at Rs. 20 per hour, which has increased since then.

Employment and Labor Minister Thulas Nxesi announced that the NMW has been reviewed and adjusted from R21.69 (2021) to R23.19 for each ordinary hour worked for the year 2022, with effect from 1 March 2022.

In terms of the NMW Act of 2018, the policy framework is a binding law of the country and a floor level below which no employee should be paid.

“It is also illegal and an unfair labor practice for an employer to unilaterally alter hours of work or other conditions of employment in implementing the NMW. The NMW is the amount payable for ordinary hours of work and does not include payment of allowances (such as transport, tools food, or accommodation), payments in kind (board or lodging), tips, bonuses, and gifts,” Kwetepane said.

CCMA Commissioner, Matome Selapisa, said compliance in the sector is crucial.

Selapisa said the NMW is the law and must be paid, noting that exemptions can be applied for if employers qualify.

According to Selapisa, the CCMA has since April 2022 adjudicated over 538 cases related to the implementation of the NMW and Basic Conditions of Employment Act in the domestic worker sector.

He said these related to applications to make a compliance order an arbitration award; dismissal for operational reasons related to the NMW Act; claims for failure to pay any amount owing; disputes relating to compliance orders; claims for failure to pay any amount owing in terms of the NMW Act; requests to make a written undertaking an arbitration award; unilateral changes to terms and conditions of employment, and any other dismissal related to NMW.

Selapisa said in the previous period (from April 2021 to 31 March 2022), the CCMA adjudicated over 1 215 cases in the domestic worker sector.

He also encouraged domestic workers to report their grievances relating to the NMW with the CCMA.

He said in terms of BCEA matters regarding non-payment, these can be referred directly to the CCMA if one earns below the ministerial threshold of R224 080.48 per annum.

The term domestic work means work performed in or for a household or households. It can also include a gardener, a person employed by a household as a driver, and a person who takes care of children, the aged, the sick, the frail, or the disabled.


Some background on the pattern of  national minimum wage in South Africa

Since January 2019, workers in South Africa have been entitled to a minimum wage of R20 per hour. This translates to around R3,500 based on a 40-hour working week.

The new rules apply to all workers in South Africa with some exceptions. These include the National Defence Force, the National Intelligence Agency, and Secret Service employees.

Three other groups have different minimum wage standards. Farm workers now earn a minimum wage of R18, domestic employees to R15, and workers on expanded public works programs to R11.

Employers in South Africa can apply for exemptions from the minimum wage for up to a year. At this stage, however, it is unclear as to the circumstances of when an exemption may be granted. If a company fails to pay the minimum wage, they face significant fines.

The wage is reviewed each year to assess whether it’s having the desired effect on alleviating poverty and reducing wage inequality.


Collective wage agreements in South Africa

Some employment sectors currently set their own minimum wages.

These sectoral minimum wages help vulnerable, low-paid workers. They are generally set either through collective bargaining in private sector councils or by direct regulation from the government following the Labor Relations Act and Basic Conditions of Employment Act.


The minimum wage in South Africa by sector

For industries that operate a minimum wage, the level employers pay varies significantly. This depends on the role and the geographic location.

Some industries split South Africa into two or three pay zones when setting their minimum wage. However, others use as many as seven or eight areas, which can cause confusion.

Different rules may apply in some sectors, depending on whether staff works more than 27 hours per week.


The minimum wage in South Africa: foreign employees

Sector-specific minimum wages for South Africans also apply to foreign workers. The new national minimum wage applies to both South African nationals and foreign employees.

Labor laws, however, will remain the same. If a South African company wants to employ a foreign national, it’ll need to secure a work permit.



The latest Minimum Wage in India is expected to reach 178.00 INR/Day by the end of 2022, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts’ expectations. In the long-term, the India National Floor Level Minimum Wage is projected to trend around 190.00 INR/Day in 2023, according to our econometric models.

In India, Section 9 of the Code on Wages, 2019 empowers the Central Government to fix a floor wage after considering the minimum living standards of a worker.

The proviso to Section-9(1) also states that different floor wages may be fixed for different geographical areas. The intent behind fixing floor wage is to ensure that minimum wages that are fixed according to the procedure, do not fall below the floor wage for a particular geographical area.

National floor wages shall be fixed after consultation with the Central Advisory Board consisting of persons nominated by the Central Government. The advice tendered by the Central Board shall be circulated to the State Governments for further consultation based on which floor wages shall be fixed and revised at an interval not exceeding five years.

In conclusion, whether it is India or any other country, the labour law framework on adherence to minimum wages as per procedures, is very much @ the heart of every Government so as to protect the wages and rights of the workers. 

Karma, being in the labour law field for nearly 18 years, has always ensured that there is no compromise whatsoever regarding the acceptance and payout of minimum wages.   It follows a very stringent policy of thoroughly checking out the payout of minimum wages during its monthly audit cycle which is currently spanning to about 5000 vendor audits per month, totaling over 4000 vendors whose compliances get audited month after month.

It keeps on telling the principal employers and vendors that there cannot be any escape or deviation as far as minimum wages declared by authorities are concerned, as the punishment and fines are also inescapable if there is a breach.

In conclusion, it is always good to abide by the laws so that the Organization is at zero risk when it comes to checks and inspections by the authorities resulting in any kind of disrepute.

Proprietory blog of Karma Management Global Tech Firm

This blog has been compiled by the internal staff of Karma Management with the knowledge and expertise that they possess, for its monthly newsletter Issue 04 of October  2022 in case of specific or general information or compliance updates for that matter, kindly reach out to the

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