Are you confident that you are compiling with Employment Equity Act?
The Employment Equity plan aims to enable the employer “to achieve reasonable progress towards Employment Equity”, eliminate unfair discrimination in the workplace, and achieve equitable representation of employees from designated groups using affirmative action measures.
According to Fikiswa Bede, Department of Employment and Labour’s chief director of statutory and advocacy services, more companies can expect reviews in the coming year for failing to comply with employment equity legislation.
As many as 60% of employers in the current financial year have failed to follow existing regulations, which concerns how employers implement the Employment Equity act and reporting, which leads to non-compliancy.
The Department of Employment and Labour may conduct a review to determine whether an employer complies with the Employment Equity Act of 1998. Failure to comply with the director general’s recommendations or request can lead to a referral for non-compliance to the Labour Court and a hefty fine.
According to Bede, some of the most common areas of non-compliance include:
- No proof of assignment of EE responsibility;
- EE managers are not provided with the required resources and budget;
- The attendance register does not indicate the constituencies represented by the committee members;
- In an analysis conducted post the development of the EE Plan, barrier analysis does not match a true reflection of what is happening in the workplace.
- EE plans do not project reasonable progress towards transformation in line with the goals and numerical targets set by the designated employers.
But how do you determine whether you are doing Employment Equity Right?
Employment Equity should not be seen as a burden and complying because the government enforces the act but instead as a powerful management tool for Top Management. If implemented with the right attitude, Employment Equity can benefit your business’s growth and workforce’s productiveness.
Employment Equity is seen as a continuous process of analysing, identifying issues and corrective measures and tracking the progress of goals and targets. To comply with the Employment Equity Act of 1998, you can follow the below guidelines to check all the boxes:
Workplace training and consultation:
Employees need to be informed of the process and the need for EE participation. You can implement talks, information pamphlets, or a training session by an independent and neutral consultant.
The Employer must assign responsibility to a Senior Manager, who must take responsibility for the entire process as an Employment Equity Manager. The EE Manager is formally appointed with an appointment letter in which the duties and responsibilities of the EE Manager are outlined and should form part of the KPIs of such the Senior Manager. The EE Manager must adhere to the following in order to comply:
- be a Senior Manager that reports directly to the CEO;
- have the authority and mandate to assign resources; and
- must be a South African citizen.
The Employer needs to establish the over-and-under representations of gender and race within the six occupational level categories, and the assigned EE committee should implement it.
The selected committee:
- needs to be elected democratically;
- must be representative of the entire company; and
- should have a minimum of four members that represent the Employer and Employees.
This committee should also reflect your company’s race and gender breakdown. All barriers are addressed and meet four times a year to ascertain whether the organisation is still on track with its development and transformation.
The roles and responsibilities of the Employment Equity committee are:
- Be competent in all matters relating to the Employment Equity Act.
- Consult with employees.
- Educate and train employees in equity and diversity.
- Develop and implement the employment equity constitution.
- Develop and implement all employment equity policies and procedures.
- Analyse the workforce, prepare a transformation plan and develop an employment equity plan.
- Monitor and report progress against BBBEE, EAP and the CEE targets.
- Implement and monitor the employment equity plan.
- Ensure full compliance with the employment equity Act and report all discrepancies.
- Keep records of all meetings, registers, agendas and minutes
- Implemented transformation.
Goals and Targets:
Goals and targets are established once the barriers and measures have been identified. The employee profile needs to be aligned as close as possible to the Economically Active Population (EAP) statistics. Upskilling and training programmes need to be implemented in the form of Learnerships, bursaries, and apprenticeships.
The implementation of complying with the Employment Equity Act of 1998 must continuously address analysing, identifying issues and corrective measures, and tracking the progress of goals and targets.
If you are unsure whether your company is complying with Employment Equity Act, contact our team of experts to do a quick audit.