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Minimum wage crucial for level playing field – CIF

2024-06-11  Staff Reporter

Minimum wage crucial for level playing field – CIF

The collective agreement signed between the Construction Industries Federation of Namibia (CIF) and the Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (MANWU) on 3 October 2023, which determines the minimum wage payable and the employment conditions in the construction sector, has now been published in the Government Gazette of 6 June 2024. 

CIF said, the implementation date of the agreement is the promulgation date, namely 6 June 2024, and will remain in force for two years. 

“Adherence to gazetted conditions is crucial for a level playing field in our sector, ensuring that every contractor pays at least the minimum wages, regardless of their affiliation or the nature of their engagement,” said Bärbel Kirchner, CEO of the CIF. 

CIF also pointed out that with promulgation of the collective agreement, the conditions of the agreement are extended to all employers in the construction sector. 

The increase of minimum wage payable will be relevant for those categories of workers as listed in the agreement.  The increase for the first year is 5% on the previous minimum wage payable – and for the second year, there will be an additional increase of 4% on the minimum wage payable on the previous year. 

That would mean that in the first year, the minimum wage payable for an unskilled labourer will be N$18.72 -and in the second year, N$19.46. 

All other conditions of employment mostly remain the same as in the previously-gazetted agreement.  

“We are very happy that our collective agreement between the CIF and MANWU is now gazetted. The CIF negotiated on behalf of its members, who had been engaged on four occasions to ensure that our collective bargaining efforts are within the mandate that we obtained from our members,” said Kirchner. 

“For us, it is important that implementation date of the agreement is on the day the collective agreement is published in the Government Gazette. This will avoid that our members are disadvantaged before the date of promulgation, i.e. that only they would have to adhere to the conditions. Now that the collective agreement is gazetted, every single business in the construction sector would have to adhere to it,” she added. 

“Enforcement of the new requirements, including the provision of good standing certificates and payslips, is essential. Clients and labour inspectors must be proactive in ensuring compliance now that the new collective agreement is gazetted,” said Kirchner. 

“It is important to note that the increase of the minimum wage payable is not an increase across the industry. It is only an increase of the minimum wage payable for the categories of employees as listed in the collective agreement. It also does not mean that everyone who falls into those categories automatically will get an increase, as some employers are already paying more than the minimum wage payable. It is then, therefore, within the discretion of the employer.” 

2024-06-11  Staff Reporter

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