Minimum Wage & Parental Leave

The National Minimum Wage Act sets South Africa’s first National Minimum Wage at R20 an hour, equivalent to R3,500 per month, depending on the number of hours worked, and creates a phase-in period for farm workers, forestry workers, domestic workers, welfare sector and care workers, due to their vulnerability to disemployment.

An exemption may only be granted if the employer cannot afford to pay the minimum wage and after meaningful consultation with every trade union representing affected employees or the affected employee him/herself in absence of a trade union.

The National Minimum Wage Act will come into effect on a date to be determined by the president by proclamation – with reports indicating that this could be as early as 1 January 2019.

New paternity rights

The Labour Laws Amendment Bill allows for parental leave, adoption leave and commissioning parental leave to employees as follows:

An employee, who is a parent of a child, is entitled to ten consecutive days of parental leave;

An employee, who is an adoptive parent of a child below the age of two, is entitled to:

  • Adoption leave of at least ten consecutive weeks; or
  • At least ten consecutive days of parental leave.

An employee, who is a commissioning parent in a surrogacy agreement, is entitled to:

  • Commissioning parental leave of ten consecutive weeks; or
  • At least ten consecutive days of parental leave.

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