Cleaning sector minimum wage review underway

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Bargaining Forum in the contract cleaning sector has proposed revised wages ahead of the review of the current sectoral determination, said the Department of Labour.

The current sectoral determination prescribes a minimum wage rate per hour of R20.74 in Area A (metropolitan councils of City of Cape Town, Greater East Rand Metro, City of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela).

The current minimum wage rate per hour of R20 is applicable in Area B (all areas of KwaZulu-Natal bargaining council), and Area C which is the rest of South Africa the minimum wage rate is R18.90.

The new minimum wage rates proposed by the Bargaining Forum are as follows: R22 for Area A; R22.20 for Area B and R20.07 for Area C.

These newly proposed wages have been communicated at the national public hearings, which were held with the interested parties in the sector.

The public hearings started on 29 October 2018 and were held in Rustenburg, Polokwane, Pretoria, East London, Cape Town, Witbank, Bloemfontein, Kimberley and Durban.

In terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, the current sectoral determination, which governs the minimum wage and conditions of employment for the contract cleaning sector, started on 1 January 2018 and ends on 30 November 2018.

“The sector is partially organised but does not have a national bargaining council. The sector has a bargaining council in KwaZulu-Natal,” the Department of Labour said.

At present, the Employment Conditions Commission (ECC) considers the ability of employers to carry on their business successfully; the operation of small, medium or micro enterprise and new enterprises; the cost of living; the alleviation of poverty; conditions of employment; wage differentials and inequality, among others.

The ECC is a body that advises the Labour Minister on the minimum wage review for vulnerable sectors, whose wage is governed by sectoral determination.

During the public hearings, stakeholders raised the issue with a viability of deductions for the medical plan, living wage, the granting of cleaning contracts by government to companies that do not comply with labour laws, and disregard of views of small companies in the bargaining chambers.

Going forward, the department said the process to incorporate the inputs received across the country into the departmental report will begin.

These will be sent to ECC for consideration before amendments in the contract cleaning sectoral determination are signed by the Labour Minister into law.  

The department expects the new minimum wage determination to be announced before the end of the year. –