The need for employment equity awareness

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South Africa has a legacy of discrimination in relation to race, gender, disability and other diversity issues. Over the years this has denied the majority of South Africans access to opportunities for education, employment, promotion and wealth creation.


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South Africa has a legacy of discrimination in relation to race, gender, disability and other diversity issues. Over the years this has denied the majority of South Africans access to opportunities for education, employment, promotion and wealth creation.
The intention of the Employment Equity Act is to foster and promote sound and fair workplace practices that will correct the imbalances of the past and create a workforce that reflects the demographics of our country. Some workplace problems have emerged as a result of the changes to legislation and these must be addressed in order to move forward.
Managers, supervisors and employees need to be aware of issues related to EE and need to know how to address these issues and work together in order to maintain understand and harmony in the workplace.
The act is specific in terms of minimum requirements such as the completion of EE reports while at the same time making it possible for employees to question employers on issues related to Employment Equity.
In terms of section 16 of the EE Act “All Employees must be informed of the content and application of the Act, including employment equity and anti- discrimination issues, the process to be followed by the employer, and the need for the involvement of all stakeholders as preparation for their participation and consultation”.
In terms of the EE reports it is necessary to comment on any training related to EE on pages 10 and 12 of the EEA2 forms. This section of the reporting forms asks specifically for information on what steps were taken to create the required awareness in the company.
In many companies the majority of employees are
• Not conversant with the EE Act and the relevance of current legislation
• Do not understand the function of the EE Forum and Skills Development forums
• Are not aware of the role of the members of these forums
• Are unfamiliar with the need for the company to consult via forum members on EE and Skills related issues
• Unaware of what their company is doing in relation to EE and skills Development
• Have little or no understanding of issues related to diversity and/or discrimination as required
In terms of the Code of Good Practice on EE implementation and monitoring there is a need for communication, awareness and consultation 7.2.1 of the code is very specific in saying
All employees should be made aware of and informed about
• The content and application of the Act
• Employment equity and anti-discrimination issues
• The proposed process to be followed by the employer
• The advantages to employees of participation in the process
• The need for the involvement of all stakeholders in order to promote positive outcomes
By Des Squire Managing Member of AMSI and ASSOCIATES cc

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