Farmworkers get minimum wage increase

16 Jun 2014 18:30pm
WINDHOEK, 16 JUN (NAMPA) – After nearly five years, farm workers can finally expect a minimum wage increase effective as from 16 June 2014.
This is the third increase since the introduction of the minimum wage in 2002. The second increase was implemented in 2009.
The Agricultural Employers' Association (AEA), the Namibia National Farmers' Union (NNFU) and the Namibia Farm Workers' Union (NAFWU) on Monday signed a collective agreement on minimum wage in the agricultural sector.
The minimum cash wage is increasing from N.dollars 2,87 per hour to N.dollars 3,70 per hour, while the value of rations is increasing from a minimum of N.dollars 400 a month.
In 2009 the value of rations increase was N.dollars 300 a month.
Overall, this translates to an increase in the minimum wage to N.dollars 1 120 per month, up from N.dollars 860 per month in 2009.
The new wage applies to workers in both the communal and commercial farming sub-sectors, but the agreement does allow for temporary exemption of employers in specific categories.
In terms of the agreement, the purpose of the collective agreement for a minimum wage is to improve the living standard of agricultural employees, reduce poverty, and maintain social peace and to ensure income levels above the breadline.
The curbing and prevention of exploitation of agricultural employees is also indicated as another purpose for the agreement.
The agreement also indicates that the minimum wage covers all entry-level agricultural employees in Namibia, including contract workers and domestic workers on farms, game and hunting farms and lodges.
The minimum wage in the agricultural sector will be implemented and enforced through public education and information dissemination by the parties to members and non-members of the parties.
It will also be implemented through inspections of agricultural undertakings and wage registers by labour inspectors as provided for in Section 125 of the Labour Act, Act No 11 of 2007.
Ensuring compliance with relevant legal provisions, consideration of penalties for non-compliance with the minimum wage, and protection of agricultural employees against victimisation are other factors that will be considered.