The Dept of Labour has become more demanding in managing and implementing the Employment Equity Act. They insist that the need for transformation must now be taken seriously and has increased their activities over the last year. Many businesses are facing investigations about procedures and processes not followed.
The Commission for Employment Equity 2014/5 report shows that transformation in EE is at a snail’s pace and that white men continued to dominate at senior management level, which they see as many employers only paying “lip service” to the requirements
We as employers also know that we are in a catch 22 situation with regards to the racial composition of our teams. The skills/experience/demographic puzzle is not easily solved. We at BeeWin4All have compiled and submitted our clients Employment Equity Plans and are willing to assist you as well
The new Employment Equity Amendment Bill which was recently released has far stricter penalties for employers who don’t take EE seriously. Its impact will be felt in small, medium and large South African businesses. Employers who don’t comply can expect strict enforcement with harsher penalties - fines of up to R3 million or 10% 0f annual turnover. The submission of Employment Equity Reports must be done based on the individual plan for your company so as to ensure compliance with the ACT.
If you have 50 or more employees or your annual business turnover exceeds the prescribed turnover threshold the requirement to submit the reports applies to you.
The place to start is with the development of an EE Policy and Plan and the establishment of an EE Forum, a Skills Development Forum or a combined forum. The need to consult with employees and to create awareness on EE and Skills Development issues is enshrined in the Employment Equity Act, the Skills Development Act and the Labour Relations Act, but is often overlooked by employers. We as BeeWin4All has to ensure that your company will not be one of the businesses that will be investigated for non-compliance.
The Act is specific in terms of minimum requirements and on the completion of EE reports while at the same time making it possible for employees to question employers on issues related to Employment Equity. Designated employers are required to establish a consultative forum in order to give effect to the process.
Recent changes to the Act need to be addressed by companies. Finding key employees from historically disadvantaged groups may not be easy to do, but taking active steps to develop, nurture and sustain such talent from within companies is possible. If we do not find them, we have to ensure that the DoL is not breathing in our necks.
According to the Employment Equity Act all designated employers are required to
- Complete a detailed employment equity (EE) Analysis
- Prepare and submit regular EE Reports
- Prepare and implement a detailed EE Plan
- Set and meet regular EE targets for achieving the required number of members of designated groups at all levels of the workplace
- Establish a workplace forum in order to consult with a full cross-section of the workforce and representative trade unions on the devising and implementation of the above mentioned analysis, report, plan and target.
- Ensure forum members are adequately trained
- Make available to employees, via the forum, all the documents referred to above
- Make special arrangements to ensure that black, coloured, Indian, female and disabled employees are retained by the organisation, that they can cope with their duties and work environment, fit into the organisation and have opportunities to advance in the organisation.
- Eliminate barriers to employment of members of designated groups.
In order to meet the above, we have to ensure that all the above steps are taken and recorded. The Employment Equity Report is also an essential element of the BEE Scorecard Process.
Click here to download the Employment Equity Brochure: