An increase in the minimum wages payable to workers in the hospitality and taxi industries, effective from 1 July 2012, has been announced by the minister of labour. The minister specifically announced a variation to the Sectoral Determinations applicable to these two industries.
According to Johan Botes, director in the employment practice at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, the Sectoral Determination varies certain provisions of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997 (BCEA) to create legislation that is unique to specific industries. Sectoral Determinations are used by the minister to ensure that the unique needs and demands of various industries are addressed.
Industries with specific demands
The BCEA sets minimum standards of employment applicable to all employees that fall within the scope of this Act; the Sectoral Determinations create unique dispensations for workers falling within industries that have specific demands in relation to working hours, flexible working arrangements or other special needs that warrant a deviation from the norm. Whilst the BCEA does not set minimum wages that apply to all workers, this issue is addressed in Sectoral Determinations that allow the minister to set minimum wages for industries that may be considered vulnerable or otherwise in need of such minimum standards.
Botes says that wages for workers in the hospitality industry will increase by 7.4%, which means that hospitality workers in workplaces with less than ten employees, such as small restaurants of boutique Bed and Breakfast establishments, will now be entitled to a minimum monthly wage of no less than R2 240.60 per month. Weekly paid workers in the same establishments will get a minimum of R517.10 and hourly paid workers R11.49 minimum wage.
Increase based on advice by ECC
"Employees working for employers with more than ten employers will earn no less than R2 495.80 per month, or R576.00 per week or R12.80 per hour. "Workers in the taxi industry only received the CPI increase of 6.4%. Taxi drivers will now get a minimum wage of R2 449.90 per month or R565.40 per week or R11.78 per hour. The increase is determined by the minister on the advice of the Employment Conditions Commission (ECC). The ECC conducts an investigation and considers representations by all parties before advising the minister on making a Sectoral Determination," he says.
"The minimum rates gazetted in the two Sectoral Determinations represent the absolute minimum wages that may be paid to employees in these sectors. However, workers may still negotiate better wages and go on strike in support of demands for better remuneration or benefits. Employers in these industries may pre-empt such action by engaging with staff pro-actively and agreeing on remuneration and benefits that exceed that prescribed in the Sectoral Determinations," Botes concludes.
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