New laws force all restaurants to pay higher wages, and a host of other expenses

19 January 2021 by Kabous le Roux

It applies to everybody. You have no choice,” says Jan Truter of Labour Wise. “It comes at the worst possible time.

Restaurants, fast-food outlets, and caterers have suffered yet another setback, as new labour law comes into effect.

Business owners will be compelled to pay higher wages – some of them may simply fold, taking the jobs they provide down with them.

Waiters must earn at least R22.25 per hour, and this will increase on 1 May 2021 by 1.5% more than whatever the inflation rate is.

Wages of employees who currently earn more than that may not be reduced.

Restaurants with fewer than 10 employees may pay 10% less.

© mysassy7/123rf.com

Business owners are also now liable for a number of other costs such as:

  • A levy for “council expenses” (R5 per month per employee)
  • “General” levy (R25 per month per restaurant)
  • Dispute resolution levy (R3 a month per employee)
  • Funeral benefits (R12.50 a month per employee)
  • Retirement fund (5% of an employee’s monthly wages)
  • A stipend if employees are required to wash their own uniforms (R17.50 a week)
  • An annual bonus each December equal to a week’s wages for those employed for 12 consecutive months (and two weeks’ wages for those employed for 24 consecutive months).

Representatives of the hospitality industry are preparing an interdict if negotiations with the Minister of Employment and Labour fails.

Refilwe Moloto interviewed Jan Truter, director of Labour Wise.

Truter argued that the new laws are ill-conceived and will devastate an industry still facing an existential threat from the pandemic and all the measures around it such as the prohibition against the sale of alcohol.

When a collective bargaining agreement is entered into, it’s almost always extended to non-parties… In this instance… a bargaining council has been established… that agreement has now been extended to the entire country, even people who are not a party to the agreement…

Jan Truter, director – Labour Wise

It applies to everybody. You have no choice… It’s going to have a major impact.

Jan Truter, director – Labour Wise

Waiters don’t earn much… but we’re still hit by Covid-19. Many fast-food outlets have closed. Restaurants are on their knees… It comes at the worst possible time…. You’re absolutely straightjacketed… There’s no room to manoeuvre…

Jan Truter, director – Labour Wise

Source: Capetalk at https://www.capetalk.co.za/articles/406466/new-laws-force-all-restaurant-owners-to-pay-higher-wages-and-a-host-of-other-expenses