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April : Farm, forestry employers warned to comply with minimum wages

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4 April, 2016

Farm, forestry employers warned to comply with minimum wages

PRETORIA - Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant has warned farm and forestry employers that they have to comply with the minimum wage regulations even during the current drought conditions.

 Minimum wage

Oliphant had been made aware that most of the farm and forestry employers were not complying with the recently increased minimum wage in the sector, her department said in a statement on Saturday. Most of these employers were reportedly paying workers less than the current stipulated minimum wage in this sector. The reasons advanced by the employers were attributed mainly to the drought that currently affected farmers.

"One of the undertakings made by farmers in receiving drought relief assistance from government is that they will retain workers during these drought conditions. The minister of labour wishes to caution against this disingenuous practice by farm and forest employers as it flies in the face of the drought relief funding that government provides to them," the department said.

Workers should report any non-compliance with the sectoral determination to labour department inspectors and the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration.

"The minister would also like to indicate that inspections in farm and forestry dwellings will be stepped up in the near future. Any employers found to be flouting the minimum wages will be issued by an order to comply and taken to court by her department," it said.

Source: ENCA