Cape Town - Minimum wage increases will come into effect for the hospitality industry on July 1 and will be applicable until June 30 2017, Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (Fedhasa) in the Cape region cautioned on Tuesday.
Fedhasa Cape recently hosted an event at World Travel Market Africa where labour consultant Leon Traut updated industry members on current labour issues.
Traut explained that wage increases are always determined by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) reported by Statistics SA. The latest headline CPI released by Stats SA is 7%. In order to measure inflation, an assessment is made of how much the CPI has risen in percentage terms over a given period, compared to the CPI in a preceding period.
The current annual minimum wage rate increase for the hospitality industry is always based on CPI plus a percentage which has varied over the last few years from +1% up to +2%. For a 45-hour week, the current minimum wage per month is R3 076.98.
At a Department of Labour (DoL) hearing earlier this year, some unions asked for a CPI +2% annual increase, while Fedhasa’s position was an increase in line with CPI. In addition to the unions’ proposed annual increase, additional items such as prescribed night transport compensation, fully compensated maternity leave as well as added annual paid days off for family responsibility leave were raised.
In this regard Fedhasa Cape said it acts as the watchdog for the hospitality industry in an effort to try and maintain a sustainable trading environment.
At the DoL hearing, Fedhasa opposed the proposals put forward by the unions and instead lobbied for a geographical differential in minimum wages, streamlining the current averaging of hours work clause as well as the overtime clause. This was in effort to forge a way forward for both employer and employee.
The results of the hearing are expected to be published in May.
Fedhasa Cape chair Rob Kucera, also pointed out the negative impact that seasonality has on the tourism industry and on economic growth in Cape Town and the Western Cape. He encouraged both members and industry players to work together in generating new business and events for the province and region during the winter season.
“Our summer months fill up for themselves but, greater effort needs to be made to encourage new business such as events, conferences and incentive programmes to be moved into our winter months,” said Kucera.