This is a good and very topical question that you have asked as I am sure that there are many readers of the Women24 Careers website who, as students in the hospitality industry and their parents, find themselves in the situation that you have described.
There are two key issues that must be considered in this matter. Firstly, would be the contractual arrangements that were entered into when your daughter commenced her studies. There are a number of factors that must be taken into account such as whether your daughter, while she working in the restaurant, is considered as an employee of that restaurant, or is she a student who is working there as part of her studies. This fine line between the two issues, which you noted in your question, is then the dividing line between earning a salary (or a stipend) and the all-important matter of gaining experience in the industry – which is so vital in today’s competitive working environment.
It should be said, at this point, that the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 sets out the basic conditions for workplaces, but it goes further by allowing different sectors to determine other aspects of the working conditions and wages/salaries of employees – this has by and large been done for domestic workers, those working in the agricultural industry and also in the hospitality industry – the website of the Department of Labour has the determinations: http://www.labour.gov.za/legislation/sectoral-determinations/sectoral-determination-14-hospitality.
One further aspect of the determination is that an employee in the hospitality industry is also defined as “any other person who in any manner assists in carrying on or conducting the business of an employer” – it is an interesting question whether your daughter, as a student, but working at the restaurant, would fall into this definition.
The second issue is whether the management of the chef school where your daughter is studying is aware of the hours that your daughter is working. The hospitality industry is one where long hours and hard work are rewarded in the long run, but the working hours that you have described do seem to be excessive in the circumstances. It might then be an idea for your daughter (and you) to discuss this matter with her lecturer or the management of the school.
I trust that this has been of assistance – please do feel free to submit another question to the website if there is any further information or assistance that I am able to provide.
Good luck to your daughter with her studies!