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BY  lvanlsraelstam, Chief Executive of Labour Law Management Consulting. He may be contacted on (011) 888-7944 or 0828522973 or on e-mail address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Web Address: www.labourlawadvice.co.za.

Those employers that are still trying to evade compliance with South Africa’s employment equity (EE) laws should be aware that:

  • The EE legislation applies to a large proportion of employers
  • Those thousands of employers who do fall under the yoke of this legislation cannot afford not to comply with it. This is because the penalties for non-compliance are extremely harsh and include a maximum fine of R1500 000.
  • The DOL has upgraded its resources and is hot on the trail of defaulters
  • The excuse (for non-compliance) that the employer did not know how to implement EE was invalidated 11 years ago by the new Code of Good Practice on the Integration of Employment Equity into HR Policy and Practice published on 4 August 2005 in government gazette no. 27866. This code spells out how the employer’s EE obligations are to be integrated into its normal everyday human resources policies and practices.

 

The code covers the following topics:

  • Implementing Employment Equity                               
  • Commencing Employment                                  
  • Job Analysis and Job Descriptions                           
  • Recruitment & Selection                                     
  • Induction                                                    
  • Probation                                                   
  • Medical, Psychological & Other Similar Assessments         
  • During Employment                                      
  • Terms and Conditions of Employment                         
  • Remuneration                                               
  • Job Assignments                                            
  • Performance Management                                     
  • Skills Development                                         
  •  Promotion and Transfer                                     
  • Confidentiality and Disclosure Of Information              
  • Retention                                                  
  • Scope                                                     
  • Impact On Employment Equity                               
  • Harassment                                                 
  • Discipline, Grievance And Dispute Resolution               
  • Ending Employment                                      
  • Terminating Employment                                      
  • Exit Interviews                                            

 

Space does not allow me to report on all of these topics. However, to give readers an idea of the in depth nature of the provisions I have quoted below a portion of the code dealing with employment practices as they relate to EE:

“16.3. POLICY AND PRACTICE  

 16.3.1. Employers are prohibited from unfair discrimination in promotion and transfer decisions. One of the mechanisms for eliminating unfair discrimination is to ensure that written policies and practices specify the criteria, which apply to promotions and transfers. Managers implementing the policies and practices should be monitored to ensure that they are not applying these inconsistently.

16.3.2. An employer may implement a policy of preference toward members of designated groups in transfers and promotions as a legitimate affirmative action measure.

16.3.3. Lateral transfers to equivalent positions may be effectively used to achieve employment equity targets. Reasonable provision must be made where an employee requests a transfer.”

The fact that the legislators took the time and trouble to develop this 43 page code makes it clear that they are deadly serious about the implementation of EE.

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