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Minister Oliphant deems SA labour laws are 'flexible enough' when it comes to minimum wage negotiations

by , 24 June 2013
South Africa's labour laws come under the spotlight this week as the dreaded minimum wage determination season (also known as 'strike season') gets under way. Now, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant has come out saying that the DoL won't be reviewing the regulation of wages through wage determination because the system currently in place is flexible enough to take into account the needs of all SA businesses...

Just a few months ago, the papers were filled with news about how wage determinations were going to affect the agricultural sector after minimum wages were hiked from R69 to R150, writes FSP Business.

During that time, many small Western Cape farmers admitted that they'd have no choice but to get rid of workers because they wouldn't be able to pay them the new minimum wage.

Now, this issue has come under the spotlight again…

Here's what labour law says you should do if you can't afford to meet new minimum wage targets

According to the minister, South Africa's labour law is flexible enough to ensure that 'employers [like those Western Cape farmers] who could not comply with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act could apply for exemptions and such an application would be 'considered on its own merits' provided that the preconditions had been fulfilled,' reports BD Live.

That's because, points out Minister Oliphant, 'South Africa's labour laws provide for exemptions to accommodate the needs of small enterprises as well as struggling employers,' continues the report.

These conditions include the submission of financial information and proof of consultation with registered trade unions and/or employees.

It's important to keep this in mind as strike season gets under way in the South African business landscape.

If you can't meet minimum wages for your sector, make sure you address this with your employees trade unions before things get out of control and you end up with a violent strike on your hands.

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