Eateries unhappy with new rules on staff remuneration
Johannesburg - Restaurants and fast food outlets are facing a bleak future with government’s extended newly formed bargaining council collective agreement.
The latest agreement states that there should be new rules for staff remuneration, which includes December bonuses and weekly payments to clean uniforms.
According to the Department of Employment and Labour, the agreement will come into effect for the parties on the date of signature, and remain in force for the period ending August 31, 2026.
The agreement also stipulates that all eateries should be able to pay wages, starting from lower level waiters, exceeding the national minimum wage by at least 7% (by May 1).
Furthermore, employers are required to increase wages by inflation consumer price index (CPI) plus 1.5 in future, while reduction of salary of staff who have not been paid higher than prescribed rate is prohibited.
Restaurant owners have not welcomed the bargaining council’s collective agreement.
Branchini La-La, owner at Ristorante La Trinita, said the restaurant industry was being targeted.
“We are talking about an industry that is dying.”
He labelled the bargaining council’s decision stupid and said that they might be forced to close their doors before the new rule kicks in.
“They worry about bonuses, what about the incentives and commissions that they work on? This is communist rule and not democracy, why do you kick people when they are down?.”
Paul Harmse, Papachinos Boksburg senior manager, said business had taken a big knock. “A lot of us are struggling to meet our daily targets.”
Harmse emphasised that restaurants needed to make a certain turnover to continue operating and adhering to the new rules would be difficult.
Speaking on Power FM on Thursday, the Restaurants Association of South Africa chief executive Wendy Alberts, said they had requested the bargaining council to prove if it represented the majority in the industry.
“We are not in a position to manoeuvre any more finances, these are critical times,” she said.