An owner of eight Spar grocery stores has been ordered to pay more than R11m to staff for not complying with labour laws, according to Fin24.

The Department of Employment & Labour issued a statement yesterday indicating the CCMA had granted it eight arbitration awards – against the owner, cited only as a ‘Mr Giannacoupolous’ in the department's statement.

The CCMA's decision follows inspections at outlets conducted in May 2019 by the department after it had received a ‘series of complaints of alleged gross violations of labour laws’.

Collectively, the inspected stores employ 565 workers.

Issues raised include: failure to issue employment contracts, long working hours for staff without overtime compensation, pay for Sunday work and public holidays not granted according to the law, illegal deductions and complaints related to the hiring of illegal foreign nationals, according to the department.

The Spar Group would not comment on the latest developments between the department and the Giannacoupolous Group.

The Spar Group is engaged in a legal battle with the Giannacoupolous Group, which is set down to be heard by the court in early March, making all matters between the two sub judice, the spokesperson said.

The Spar owner has to comply with the CCMA award within 14 days, or pay an amount with accrued interest.

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