Hospitality trade faces blitz on job conditions

2010-05-18 00:00

BUSINESSES in KwaZulu-Natal’s hospitality sector will come under scrutiny this week when a team of investigators from the Labour Department begins a series of spot checks ahead of next month’s 2010 Fifa World Cup.

The checks will see investigators from 16 labour centres around the province going street by street through their designated areas evaluating labour practices and employment condititons in hotels, bed-and-breakfast establishments, restaurants, take-away outlets, entertainment centres and other hospitality-related establishments.

The week-long project began yesterday across all provinces and will be led by senior officials of the department.

The initiative materialised a few weeks after the department went through the industry with “a fine toothcomb”, carefully developing inspection plans to examine employment conditions and ensure that they are not compromised for employers’ profit during the World Cup period.

The primary concerns of the programme are to ensure that employees abide by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Sectoral Determination for the Hospitality Sector and other labour laws.

They will make in-depth examinations of health and safety conditions at the workplace, working hours, payments of overtime, contracts of employment and other related employment standards.

The week-long drive is part of the department’s plan to carry out monthly inspections, and aims to send a strong message to employers that workers’ rights are “non-negotiable”.

Communications manager for the Labour Department in KwaZulu-Natal, Jay Anand, emphasised that all businesses and establishments in the province will be inspected.

“The overall aim is to create awareness within the sector and to monitor compliance of labour laws…”

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