Legislative update


04 JUNE 2019


The Labour Law in South Africa – Important Changes in 2019

Important changes have been made that affect the labour law in South Africa. It is important to take note of these changes. Two of the most prominent issues that affect labour law and employment relations in 2019 will be discussed below.

The first issue which is relevant to labour law in South Africa for 2019 is the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill. The second and equally important change is the National Minimum Wage Act that came into effect on the 1st of January 2019. The new minimum wage legislation will significantly affect the labour law issues in South Africa.

The NHI Bill and How It Affects Labour Law in South Africa in 2019

The NHI Bill is said to ensure more access to high-quality healthcare for everyone. The aim is to ensure that such access is free through the creation of one national health insurance fund. Once promulgated, the legislation will provide the centralisation of state-sponsored medical supply procurement. The NHI Bill is important for employees because it affects how they access medical aid benefits and healthcare.

What is significant about the bill is that all South African citizens must become members of the National Health Insurance Fund. What is not clear is how membership contributions will work. However, every person that is able to contribute will be expected to do so. There will be no choice here.

What seems to be problematic is the fact that if members opt to stay members of private medical aids, they will still be obliged to contribute to the NHI Fund. This will mean additional expenses for employees who wish to keep their private medical aid benefits.

The emphasis of the NHI Bill is that everyone will have access to high-quality and free healthcare. How the NHI will be funded is not yet clear. As for the start of 2019, it is certainly something that can cause some employees to have more deductions on their payslips than others. How it will affect labour law in South Africa is yet to be seen.

There have been suggestions about funding the NHI that include tax deductions and payments similar to the tax deductions for PAYE, which would then be paid to the NHI Fund.  If this method is implemented, then employers are also in for payroll expense increases, as they then have to contribute to the NHI Fund. The good news for employers is that it seems as if they will not be required to make contributions to private medical aids on behalf of employees. However, they can choose to do so as long as they also contribute to the NHI Fund.

Where employers opt to discontinue their contributions to private medical aid schemes on behalf of employees, the terms and conditions of employment contracts will change. As such, the bill will affect labour law regulations in South Africa as well. The employer’s actions can potentially lead to unfair labour practice issues in 2019, especially if the terms and conditions of employment are not changed correctly.

National Minimum Wage Act for South Africa

The act, together with changes in the Labour Relations Act and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, became effective from the start of 2019. Employers must now pay the national minimum wage, which has been set at a minimum of R20 per hour for all citizens in South Africa.

The forestry and farming sectors, in addition to employers of domestic workers, have been exempted from the R20 per hour. Accordingly, the farming and forestry sectors can pay 90% of the national minimum wage per hour and employers of domestic workers can pay 75% of the national minimum wage per hour. These sectors are exempted for two years, after which the new minimum wage law applies to all employers in South Africa.

Call our labour law attorneys on 011 234 2125 for assistance in understanding the implications of the 2018 and 2019 changes in legislation

SA Labour Law and Rights of the Employee within the Hospitality Industry

SA Labour Law

29 APRIL 2019


SA Labour Law and Rights of the Employee within the Hospitality Industry

SA labour law covers all economic sectors, including the hospitality industry. If you work within the industry it is essential that you become familiar with the labour laws governing the industry to protect you as employee against exploitation.

Many workers within the hospitality industry, especially waiters and bartenders, are not aware of the minimum wages for their particular positions. They work exceptionally long hours and are often not even offered employment contracts. This is especially true when it comes to employers with fewer than 10 employees.

Irrespective of whether you work in a small restaurant or at a large chain hotel, your employer must, according to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, provide you with a written employment contract. This contract should stipulate your salary, payment dates, basic job description, leave days and overtime.

The Sectoral Determination for minimum wage applicable to the hospitality industry until 30 June 30 2016 for employers with 10 or fewer employees sets the minimum wage at:

  • Monthly – R2760.59
  • Weekly – R637.10
  • Hourly – R14.15


For employers with 10 or more employees in the industry, the minimum wages applicable until 30 June 2016 have been set at:

  • Monthly – R3076.98
  • Weekly – R710.12
  • Hourly – R15.77


Note that the Hospitality Sectoral determination doesn’t include employers or employees who are involved in the trading or letting of accommodation, rooms, houses or flats. It also doesn’t include any employers or employees that are covered under SA labour law in another sectoral determination as stipulated in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act or those covered by a Bargaining or Statutory Council.

You furthermore have the right not to be retaliated against for demanding the recognition and respect of your employee rights under the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. The law provides for a maximum of 12 hours overtime a week, except for travelling sales people, employees that work fewer than 24 hours in a month or senior managers. It is, however, possible for the employer to make provision for an extended weekend by means of a 12-hour work day week.

If your employer requires you to work night shifts, then the employer must inform you about the health and/or safety risks associated with shift working. You should also be compensated accordingly to attend medical assessments on a regular basis.

The employer must supply you with a minimum period of four weeks’ notice of termination of your contract should you have worked at the same employer for 12 months or more.

You have the right to family responsibility leave should you need to attend to a sick child or attend to the arrangements if a loved one such as your parent, spouse, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild passes away. Should you be dismissed you have the right to oppose the dismissal according to the provisions of SA labour law.

Normal working hours, except for senior managers, travelling sales people, and employees working under 24 hours monthly are set at no more than 45 hours in a work week and 9 hours per day where you work 5 or fewer days in the work week. If you work more than 5 days in a week then your employer may not require you to work more than 8 hours per day.

Understandably you may avoid confronting your employer about the extra-long work hours, few days off and low salary because you fear being dismissed. However, should the employer dismiss you for demanding your employee rights according to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, you have the right to take legal action or to approach the CCMA for assistance.

Contact the Allardyce & Partners attorneys at reception@allardyce.co.za or on 011 234 2125 for legal guidance regarding your rights as an employee within the hospitality sector.



09 MAY 2018



On Tuesday 27 March 2017 CGCSA presented to the Labour Portfolio Committee on the Labour Amendment Bills. The National Minimum Wage Bill together with The Labour Relations Amendment Bill and the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendments Bill were referred by Cabinet to Parliament in November 2017.

Our submission was focused primarily on the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill. The strong push was to maintain the Sectorial determinations in particular sectorial determination 9 which affects the retail sector.

The presentation was well received and the Portfolio Committee will consider input of all presentations and present recommendations to the National Assembly and NCOP respectively before the bill can be signed off by the president.

The National Minimum Wage Bill current proposal being that wages be set at R20 per hour and be reviewed annually. It is important to note that the NMW is a floor below which no worker can be paid; and this incudes workers that are covered by sectoral determinations as well as collective bargaining agreements. However, the minimum wages for domestic and farm workers will initially be set at R15 and R18 an hour respectively. This will be adjusted to reach the NMW within two years of implementation. The National Minimum Wage Commission will be established to review the NMW annually taking into consideration the inflation and other labour market and sociol economic conditions.


Be informed about crime statistics and alerts that impact our sector




The Competition Commission (“the Commission”) initiated a market inquiry into the grocery retail sector in South Africa in terms of Chapter 4A of the Competition Act, No. 89 of 1998 (as amended) (“the Act”) because it has reason to believe that there are features of the sector that prevent, distort or restrict competition.
The Commission gave notice in the Government Gazette1 on 30 October 2015 announcing the establishment of the Grocery Retail Sector Market Inquiry (“the Inquiry”) in terms of Section 438(2) of the Act. In terms of the Notice, the Inquiry was expected to be completed by 29 May 2017. On 26 May 2017 the Commission gave notice in the Government Gazette2 that the amended timeline for completion of the Inquiry is 31 March 2018.


In terms of section 438(5) of the Act, the Commission may, by way of an amendment to the Terms of Reference, amend the scope of the Inquiry, or the time within which the Inquiry is expected to be completed, by further notice in the Gazette.
Having regard to the comments, submissions and information gathered by the Inquiry to date, the scope of the Inquiry remains unchanged. However, the Commission has decided to amend the completion date to allow for further consultations with key stakeholders and to finalise a report of its investigation. In terms of the amendment, the Inquiry will be completed by 28 September 2018.
Further details regarding key activities during the final phase of the Inquiry will be communicated on the Commission’s website.


UK government tightens model limiting food marketing to children

We have been informed by IFBA that the UK government has recently published a consultation on a proposal to strengthen the nutrient profiling model that is used to determine which food and drink products can be advertised to those under 16 years in the UK. The aim is to bring this in line with the UK’s dietary recommendations. For more information, please see email below.

SA government in the process of drafting regulations to restrict food marketing to children

As you are aware, the South African Department of Health has taken the decision to remove reference to marketing to children restrictions in the draft labelling and advertising regulations, which are due to be published soon (R.429). A separate set of regulations will be drafted for this purpose.

International developments in this area may be of interest to SA government

Whilst it is not clear what the South African regulations will look like at this stage, it is likely that work being done by other governments will be considered and may help inform local regulations.

Companies are urged to uphold responsible marketing commitments in the absence of regulations

In the absence of local regulations, the CGCSA urges its members to uphold local responsible marketing to children commitments. Please click here to view the relevant ASA Code Appendix which outlines these commitments

Yours Sincerely,
Gwarega Mangozhe