New construction minimum wages in force from end of March
“Sadly we have not seen any recovery in the construction sector since 2016. More businesses are being affected and more people are being retrenched. It is dire situation for our industry – businesses simply have no scope to further continue increasing labour costs without the generation of any revenue,” said the general manager of the Construction Industries Federation of Namibia in response to the promulgation of the new minimum wages for construction workers.
The Collective Agreement that determines minimum wage and minimum employment conditions in construction was signed by the Federation and the Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (MANWU) on 16 November 2017. It was gazetted this week Wednesday, with backdated effect from 31 March 2018 when it was promulgated.
The Collective Agreement has been extended by the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Hon. Erkki Nghimtina, to the entire construction sector, irrespective of the size of business or ownership.
According to the agreement, the minimum wage has been increased by 5.6% to N$16.94 per hour or N$135.52 per 8-hour shift. Hourly rates now ranges from N$16.94 for a handlanger to N$49.79 for steel fixers and welders. Most of the artisans rank in the N$30 to N$40 range while on-site security guards are still the lowest paid at N$127.49 for a 12-hour shift.
The agreement also stipulates minimum performance on a daily basis.
Kirchner cautioned “It is important that there is no confusion. An increase of 5.6% on minimum wage payable is only relevant for certain selected positions, as per the Collective Agreement.”
“So, if an employer does not yet pay the minimum wage for selected positions, then they would need to increase the wage to ensure it reaches the minimum wage payable. If, however, the employer is already paying the minimum wage payable, then no further increase is required,” she explained.
According to the Government Gazette, the agreement will be in force for one year.