The bargaining council and owning a restaurant – what you need to know

How the Bargaining Council can help restaurant owners

The Bargaining Council for the Restaurant, Catering and Allied Trades Main Collective Agreement Governs all restaurants, catering and allied trades operating within the Magisterial Districts of Alberton, Benoni, Boksburg, Brakpan, Delmas, Germiston, Johannesburg, Kempton Park, Krugersdorp, Randburg, Randfontein, Roodepoort, Springs and Westonaria. 

All businesses and employees falling within the registered scope of the Council are bound by the Collective Agreement provisions.

The agreement regulates certain conditions of employment that are not applicable to other industries; these include the following-

Minimum wage: The minimum wage was increased from R25,12 to R26,88 as of 1 May 2022.

Mandatory yearly bonus: An employer shall pay an annual bonus during December, one week’s wages for one year of completed service and two weeks’ wages for two years of completed service. All businesses other than “small employers” shall pay three weeks’ wages for three years of completed service and four weeks’ wages for four or more years of completed service.

Provident fund: every employer shall, at the end of each month, deduct 5% from the wages payable to each employee and add to such deduction an equal amount of 5 %.

Funeral policy: every employer shall, in respect of each month, deduct R12 -50 from the wages payable to each employee and add to such a deduction an amount of R12 -50.

Late Night Transport Allowance: An employer who requires his employees to work past 22h30 and is authorised to work shall pay such employee R200.00 per month or R46.16 per week as an allowance. If the employer provides free transport home for late-night workers, he shall not be required to pay a stipend to those employees.

Night Work Shift Allowance: An employer shall pay such an employee an amount of R0,88 per hour, as a shift allowance, in addition to the employee’s salary for hours worked between 18:00 and 06:00 or grant the employee at least 10 minutes off on full pay for every hour worked at the end of each week.

Should an employer not comply with the Main Agreement, they run the risk of having a compliance order granted against them, which could be a hefty financial knock. Whether an employer is compliant or not is seen in black or white, and the Bargaining Council does not view any subjective justification for noncompliance.  

Clause 29 of the Collective Agreement makes provision for the exemption of any provision of the agreement. 

The Exemption Committee is the body which considers the applications for exemption received by employers.  It is important to note that merely applying for an exemption does not mean that the Committee will automatically grant the exemption, nor will this serve as a blanket exemption, especially when a business has not been compliant with any/most of the conditions mentioned above. 

The Committee abides by an Exemption Criteria, and in considering the granting of an exemption the following are some of the factors to be considered:

a) The written and verbal substantiation provided by the applicant;

b) the extent of consultation with and the petition for or against granting the exemption

c) as provided by employers or employees who are to be affected by the exemption if

d) granted;

e) the scope of the exemption required;

f) the infringement of basic conditions of employment rights;

g) the fact that the exemption does not create a competitive advantage;

h) the viewing of the exemption from any employee benefit fund or training provision about the alternative comparable bona fide benefit or condition, including the cost of same;

i) the employee, transferability, administration management and cost, growth and stability;

j) the extent to which the proposed exemption undermines collective bargaining and labour peace in the Tearoom, Restaurant and Catering Trades;  and

k) any existing special economic or other circumstances warrant the exemption’s granting.

In terms of the Main Agreement, any application for exemption is to be submitted in writing, and specific requirements need to be met for the application to be considered by the Committee. The Committee, in turn, is bound to decide on the application for exemption within 30 days of receiving the same. 

Those companies who fall within the scope of the Main Agreement should contact us as a matter of urgency for Invictus to assist in the exemption application. 

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