Agri-workers are currently entitled to a minimum wage of R18.68 per hour by law. This is different to the R20.76 per hour for other sectors. The importance lies not only in the amount, but the allocation of time as well. No agri-worker can earn below the set R18.68 per hour, regardless of the type of work being conducted. Wages that do not meet minimum wage requirements were identified during several audits. These findings mostly included employees contracted to conduct work on piece rate.
Regardless of the contract type, employers did not pay these employees at least equal to the minimum wage per hour. It is crucial that all SIZA members understand the importance and necessity to evaluate their business to make sure that all employees receive at least the minimum wage rate per hour. In any event where an employee is contracted to conduct piecework, the employee should still be paid at least R18.68 per hour. It is in the business’ best interest to develop a bonus system on piecework, rather than building the entire payment structure on the number, quantity, or units packed, picked, or achieved. The idea should rather be for employees to be paid minimum wage and reach a target. Once the target is exceeded, the employee will be paid according to piece rate per bin packed or per bag picked, for example.
Members need to have adequate systems in place to manage and record hours worked. There should then be a system in place to ensure every employee gets paid according to the number of hours worked. If the business does not make use of an electronic clocking system, there must be an attendance register which adequately indicates the hours worked for each person. There is no excuse for underpaying any employee for time worked, regardless of whether the employee is contracted on piece rate.
Please see the SIZA Social Standard for more details: https://siza.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/SIZA_Social_Standard_February_2020_V6.0.pdf