New Minimum Wage for Farm Workers

THE lowest paid farm worker in Namibia has been awarded an increase of N$28 a month with effect from this month.

According to an agreement between the Agricultural Employers Association, Namibia National Farmers Union and Namibia Workers Union yesterday, the lowest paid worker will now earn 83 cents more per hour – that is N$3,70 up from N$2,87 per hour.

The government recommended wage is N$860 per month and with the latest increase, the minimum salary goes up to N$888 per month.

The agreement was signed at the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare offices before deputy minister Alpheus Muheua, who urged the unions and the employers to void strikes.

Muheua said although they acknowledge that as intermediaries they sometimes fail, the fact is they try their best to help improve the conditions of all workers.

The agreement states that if an employee is, by virtue of their employment, required to live in or on the place of their employment or to live on any property of their employer, that worker must receive an additional N$400 food allowance per month.

More than 27% of Namibia’s working population is employed in the agricultural sector.

In a 2012 wage survey, the Agricultural Employers’ Association said the average salary in cash and rations was N$1 454 – 12% more than it was in 2010.

The total package was therefore 69% higher than the minimum prescribed monthly salary of N$860.

The average total remuneration package, including fringe benefits, was N$2 798 per monthly. This was 11% higher than the average in the 2010.

Fringe benefits include housing, free transport for children to schools, free transport for workers and their dependants to clinics and hospitals, as well as free keeping of cattle and other animals such as horses and donkeys.

Of the farmers that participated in the 2012 survey, 92% indicated that they also pay annual bonuses to their workers.

The average value of this was N$1 138 per worker. In addition, 98% of participants said their workers get wage increases.

Source : The Namibian