The more than 40 proposed amendments to the Labour Relations Act, the Basic
Conditions of Employment Act and the Employment Equity Act as well as the
introduction of the Employment Services Act (currently a Bill) have already
passed through Parliament and are awaiting sign-off by President Zuma.
Some of the more contentious matters relate to the proposed amendments
to the Employment Equity Act. These include amongst other issues, the
definitions of designated employers and designated groups, compliance criteria
and penalties for noncompliance, regulations surrounding psychometric testing
and similar pre-employment assessments and dispute resolution procedures and
guidelines regarding the burden of proof in unfair discrimination cases.
But, the proposed amendments that have generated the most interest and
controversy are those relating to affirmative action and the inclusion of a clause
in Section 6 that introduces the principle of "equal pay for work of equal value?.
With the intention of the proposals clearly focused on the promotion of
African representation in top and senior management positions, it is interesting
to note the findings of the 14th Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) report
(2013-2014 annual employment equity report) which was unveiled by Labour
Minister, Mildred Oliphant.
The percentage of Africans in top management positions is reported at
19,8% and 23% of senior management positions, this despite the fact that 75%
of the economically active South African population is African.
The report has quickly generated criticism from various political parties,
national organisations and businesses with some suggesting the report
contains errors and that factors such as the pool of suitably qualified individuals
and economic conditions have not been taken into account. Other critics are of
the opinion that the incorrect indicators are being used to determine
Clearly a contentious topic, the proposed Employment Equity Act
amendments are under scrutiny. In this series of articles, PMI offers insight into
and concerns relating to the most debated new and amended statutes.
? Part One: Unfair discrimination and "equal pay for work of equal value?
? Part Two: Affirmative action
? Part Three: The scenario and the solution
Over the next few weeks the Skills Portal will run a series on these amendments
to help businesses prepare.
This article was written by PMI (a member of the Adcorp Holdings Group).
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