Hospitality industry cautioned over employees' pay

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pretoria - The Department of Labour has warned hospitality industry employers to pay their workers as stipulated or face the full might of the law.

This after Free State Labour inspectors uncovered that some employers were shortchanging their employees.

According to the department, some employers with more than 10 workers were cheating their employees by underpaying their wages, and instead were paying them the wages they would if they had less than 10 employees.

According to the Hospitality Sectoral Determination, employers whose establishments have more than 10 workers are expected to pay a minimum wage of R2 209 per month or an hourly rate of R11. 33 cents, while workers, who are 10 or less in the employment, must take home a minimum wage of R1 981.48 cents per month, or R10.17 cents per hour.

In addition, it was found that some employers were not paying their workers overtime.

"We are calculating all the underpayments of the wages and overtime that these employers should have paid their workers and we will ensure that the workers receive all the monies due to them. 

"We will also make sure that all the employers who have not registered their workers with UIF do so, even it if it means we have to take bold steps to ensure compliance," said Free State Provincial Operations' Chief Director, Marsha Bronkhorst.

Figures released by the department this week show that of the 329 hospitality workplaces inspected in the province during the national scrutiny, only 250 employers were found to be compliant.

As a result, 67 employers were issued with undertakings and an improvement notice, while 16 employers were also charged with serious contraventions of the Occupational Health and Safety measures.