Employers have to pay up

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The Durban labour court continued with its tough stance against defaulting employers when it awarded workers R114 000 last week.

Last Monday the court ordered 17 defaulting employers in KwaZulu-Natal to pay R68 000 to their employees and on Thursday three employers were found to have underpaid their workers by R46 492 and were forced to pay up.

Labour department spokesman Zolisa Sigabi said an Estcourt clothing store owner underpaid his three shop assistants to the tune of R19000.

"He ignored the prescribed minimum wage for the wholesale and retail sector," Sigabi said.

"Inspectors found that instead of the stipulated R282,87 weekly wage, the trader paid them R180."

Sigabi said in another case an employer in the Bluff area was found guilty of paying a domestic worker R500 a month instead of the prescribed minimum of R885,66 applicable at the time of the investigation.

The employer was ordered to pay R23 994 in outstanding wages.

Employers were also fined for noncompliance and will be liable for all legal costs incurred.

"Should the companies fail to adhere to the orders the sheriff of the court will attach their assets and the proceeds of the sale will be paid to the workers," she said.

Meanwhile, the direction of South Africa's skills training landscape came under scrutiny on Friday when the National Economic, Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) began discussions on proposed amendments to the existing skills development legislation.

The Nedlac meeting was part of stakeholder consultation in the government's ongoing efforts to introduce changes to the Skills Development Act.