Employment Equity


By 15 January 2023, businesses are required to submit their Employment Equity Reports outlining the progress they are making in implementing their Employment Equity Plans. Missing this deadline, as well as failing to implement the other duties outlined in the Act, could result in a R1.5m to 2% of turnover fine, depending on what the particular non-compliance is.

Fines of up to R1 500 000 require desperate measures from defaulting employers reports Ivan Israelstam. The Department of Labour Employment Equity Division is very serious about getting designated employers to comply with the requirements of the Employment Equity Act. If you have failed to meet the 15 January 2018 deadline for online reporting, then read on for Ivan's advice. 

Recent changes to the Employment Equity act will have an impact on many
employers in some way or other. The main changes seem to indicate that
discrimination against women is the main target particularly when it comes to issues
of equal pay for equal work.

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.

Many businesses have not taken full advantage of the B-BBEE scorecard system. Companies may find themselves at a lower level once the proposed changes are approved. The changes include more technical code targets.

Unfair discrimination in the recruitment and selection process is a delicate matter and HR professionals should be aware of the legislation surrounding this issue. The Employment Equity Act provides strict guidelines around medical testing, psychometric testing and other related practices.

There are regulations that companies must adhere to in order to ensure compliance however many fail to meet these legal requirements which leads to costly and time consuming labour action. Des Squire provides guidelines to ensure employers meet the necessary requirements.

A court ruling has determined that South Africans of Chinese descent are entitled to benefit from affirmative action and empowerment programmes. The decision of the Pretoria High Court that Chinese South Africans should be considered Black People, as contemplated by the Employment Equity and Black Economic Empowerment acts ends an eight-year legal struggle.

In episode three of our series on Employment Equity we look at the link to skills development. Skills development is integral to the redress of past discrimination and the implementation of Workplace Skills Plans should be integrated with the employment equity activities.

Employment equity plans and reports are not documents that are simply drawn up by management. The Employment Equity Act requires that designated employers establish committees and consult with employees. We explore the issues that these committees should be involved with.

The Department of Labour has started inspections to ensure compliance with Employment Equity legislation by designated employers. Your company could be a designated employer either by having more than 50 employees or by having a turnover considered above the limit for SMEs in your sector. If you are a designated employer for the first time we've outlined the first steps to take to ensure compliance.

Discussions on employment equity and affirmative action often end without agreement - even about the terms being used. A new work by Professor Harish Jain provides some valuable guidance on dealing with these issues.




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