Ndemula concerned about employers still not paying the minimum wage

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Employment Creation Hafeni Ndemula has expressed concern that there are some employers who still do not pay their employees the minimum wages set for their respective sectors.

Ndemula, at the commemoration of International Workers Day at Swakopmund on Monday, stressed that there is still an alarming number of workers being paid low wages that cannot provide for a decent standard of living.

“It is regrettable to say that, despite Namibia’s sound labour laws, there are still employers who opt to operate without following the statutory labour standards,” he noted.

Additionally, the deputy minister has expressed great concern that not all employers ensure and provide a safe and healthy working environment for their workers, which should be employers’ top priority towards employees.

“Employers should review and improve the wages of their workers on an annual basis. I am also able to inform you that the ministry is working to bring the National Minimum wage into force as soon as possible, however, it should be noted that the minimum wage is only a floor for wages and does not mean maximum wage,” he said.

President of Namibia Public Workers Union (NAPWU) Evans Mashwahu noted the need to review existing laws in order to ensure that deductions from workers’ salaries are affordable and do not leave them in worse financial positions.

“Furthermore, there is a need to address laws such as section 70 on collective agreements and 76, which supports the no work no pay principle.

This principle penalises workers participating in legitimate industrial action and undermines their right to bargain collectively,” he expressed.

Mashwahu noted that laws and policies should instead promote a culture of dialogue and cooperation between employers and employees.

Erongo Governor Neville Andre Itope emphasised the importance of a strong trade union movement and cordial relationships between stakeholders in the Labour sector.

The day was commemorated under the theme; ‘Workers united in ensuring productivity for national economic growth and guarding against unfair labour practices in the world of work’.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency