South Africa is gazetting regulations giving effect to the government’s commitment to assist ailing industries and workers through the Unemployment Insurance Fund. The country recently gazetted the first agreement between the Minister of Labour and the National Textile Industry Bargaining Council. The agreement states that the regulations apply to all employers in the textile industry, not just council members.
The agreement guarantees an amount equal to full pay for the three-week period of the lockdown for those not working, jointly paid by employers with subsidies from the fund through its Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS). Labor lawyer Dunstan Farrell revealed that while these regulations do not specify the rand amounts, the standard industry agreements reflected that the scheme would pay out between R3, 500 – the minimum wage – up to a maximum of R17, 712 per worker on a sliding scale.
He explained wages are paid on an hourly rate, per hour actually worked, while salaries are a fixed amount per month. The regulations state that the issue of relief for salaried workers is to be referred to a Rapid Response team, established to consider and resolve any unforeseen matters.