The new minimum wage for farm workers was announced on 4 February 2013, which raises the minimum wage from R69 to R105 per day. This change takes effect on 1 March 2013.
In order to reduce the impact of this new minimum wage, there are a few deductions that can be legally made to the employee’s total wage.
The common question from employers is whether or not they may deduct for work clothing and or equipment/tools supplied. The short answer is no.
Deductions that you are allowed to make:
Accommodation – Employers may deduct for accommodation where accommodation is supplied to an employee, provided the accommodation meets certain requirements. Such accommodation must have a roof that doesn’t leak, windows that open and shut, access to piped water within 100 meters, be a minimum of 30 square meters per employee and have access to electricity (if possible). In such circumstances, an employer may deduct 10% of the total of the employee’s wage for accommodation.
Food – Where an employer provides food to the employee, he may also deduct 10% of the employee’s total wage. Take note that the value of the food supplied cannot be less than the amount deducted.
It is important to note that whilst an employer may not deduct from an employee’s wage for electricity, transport and cattle grazing rental, the law does not envisage that employees should get this for free. It means that an employer must enter into separate agreements where the employee will pay for the aforementioned by agreement, in the same way that one pays Eskom for electricity, a taxi operator for transport and a land owner for grazing.
If you have any concerns or questions please contact us as follows:
Tel: (033) 266 6170
Fax: (033) 266 6175
Rob McCarthy: (083) 274 1232