Spar franchisee ordered to pay R11 million for violating labour laws

Spar franchise owner penalised for failure to issue contracts and illegally deducting pay, among other things.

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has granted eight arbitration awards in favour of the Department of Labour against a Spar Franchisee. The Department of Employment and Labour on Monday issued a statement explaining that, after investigations were conducted on the premises of eight Spar grocery stores owned by one ‘Mr Giannacoupolous,’ it has compelled the franchisee to pay all complainants an amount of R 11,935,578. 

The inspections were conducted in May 2019 after the Department’s Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES) received a series of complaints alleging gross violations of labour laws at Spar stores across the country.

Upon investigation, it emerged that all the stores that were violating labour laws were owned by the same franchisee who employes a total of 565 workers at the grocery stores. 

Among the labour law contraventions listed was the failure by the employer to issue employees with contracts, the instances of employees working long hours without overtime compensation, and failure to pay employees working on Sundays and public holidays in accordance with the law. Other complaints related to illegal pay deductions and hiring of illegal foreign nationals, according to the department.