Work at a restaurant/cafe? Are you being paid the minimum?

Work in the Hospitality sector?

1 July 2016 marks the annual adjustment of the minimum hourly labour rate for the Hospitality sector. This adjustment is relevant to those working in restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, fast food outlets, lodges, hotels and catering companies. If you fall within the above category it may be worth reviewing your hourly labour rate, often referred to as your “basic.”[1]

1 July 2015 – 30 June 2016

The benchmark for the previous year ( 1 July 2015 – 30 June 2016) was set at R15.77 p/hour for employers with 1o or more employees. Employers with less than 10 employees were required to pay R14.15 p/hour.

1 July 2016 – 30 June 2017

The current benchmark has now been set (1 July 2016 – 30 June 2017) at R16.91 p/hour for employers with 10 or more employees. Alternatively, R761.25 p/week or R3298.52 p/month. For those working for employers with less than 10 employees, the rate is now set at R15.17 p/h. [2]

Tips and commission?

It is important to note that the minimum wage must be received over-and-above any commission, tips or gratuity.

Consequences of non-compliance

If a complaint is lodged with the Department of Labour and the employer is found to be guilty of paying below the minimum wage, the employer can be fined. The employer may also need to come to an arrangement with the employee to pay wages in arrears. It may be in your best interests, going forward, to discuss your concerns with your employer before lodging a complaint with the Department.

Work outside the Hospitality sector?

Sectoral determinations are made throughout the year for various sectors such as retail, domestic workers, civil engineering and private security. It will be in your best interest to follow these annual updates to ensure your business/employer is compliant.

[1] GN R437 of 2007 (GG No. 29885)
[available at:
[2] See GN 715 of 2016 (GG No. 40061)

*the above information may not apply to those entered into collective bargaining agreements or to those covered by other sectoral determinations.

* the above information does not constitute legal advice.
This information is published for general information purposes and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to any particular situation.The author will accept no responsibility for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this article.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s