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Salon owners reminded that the National Minimum Wage increases on 1 March

As per Minister of Employment and Labour Thembelani Waltermade Nxesi’s statement on 7 February 2022, the National Minimum Wage of South Africa will increase on 1 March 2022.

This is in accordance of the National Minimum Wage Act (NMWA), No. 9 of 2018, with the increase affecting both Schedules 1 and 2 of the Act.

In terms of Schedule 1, the national minimum wage will increase to R23.19 for each ordinary hour worked. This is a 6.9% increase on the 2021 hourly rate (i.e. R21.69). Therefore, for a total of 195 hours worked, the national minimum wage is now R4,522.05

Workers who have concluded learnership agreements contemplated in section 17 of the Skills Development Act, No.97 of 1998 are entitled to allowances contained in Schedule 2. To see these, click on the guide compiled by the EOHCB (Employer’s Organisation for Hairdressing Cosmetology Beauty)

Once the EOHCB has received the updated 2022 Salary/Wage Schedules from the National Bargaining Council for Hairdressing, Cosmetology, Skincare and Beauty Industry, it will communicate the divisional schedules to its members.


The EOHCB points out that employers who cannot afford the 6.9% increase may apply directly with the Department of Employment and Labour to be exempted from the increase, but qualifying employers will only be entitled to a 10% decrease maximum.

Section 15 of the NMWA provides for the exemption process. The exemption process is specifically created for employers who can show that they cannot afford to pay the national minimum wage to workers.

An exemption will only be granted if the following criteria are satisfied by the applicant employer:

· the employer cannot afford to pay the national minimum wage; and

· representative trade union(s) of the workers have been meaningfully consulted or, if there are no trade union(s), the affected workers have been meaningfully consulted.

To assess affordability, elements of profitability, liquidity and solvency are taken into account. The decision-making process is rigorous and employers will need to ensure that they submit comprehensive financial and organisational information when applying for exemptions. If successful, an employer will be provided with an exemption notice which will contain the following information:

· the period of exemption;

· the wage(s) that the employer is required to pay workers; and

· any other relevant condition(s).

If unsuccessful, the employer will also be provided with an exemption notice which will contain reason(s) for the refusal. The exemption process is managed by the Department of Labour through an online system called the National Minimum Wage Exemption System.

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