Progress on the implementation of the Employment Equity Act
Department of Labour
· Recap on objectives of Act
· Implementing the Act
· Prohibition of discrimination
· Affirmative action: ten steps to achieve employment equity
· Codes of Good Practice
· Public service
Purpose of Act
· Promote equal opportunity and fair treatment in employment through elimination of unfair discrimination
· Implement affirmative action measures to redress the disadvantages in employment experienced by blacks, women and people with disabilities.
Provisions of Act
· Chapter 1: Definitions
· Chapter 2: Prohibition of unfair discrimination
· Chapter 3: Affirmative action
· Chapter 4: Commission for Employment Equity
· Chapter 5:Monitoring, enforcement and legal proceedings
· Chapter 6: General
Prohibiting unfair discrimination
· Act specifies circumstances when
· discrimination is prohibited (unfair)
· discrimination is fair.
· Disputes can be dealt with
· CCMA: conciliation and arbitration (if parties agree)
· Labour Court.
Progress on prohibiting unfair discrimination
· CCMA processed 107 cases dealing with discrimination between August and Dec
· Jurisprudence mixed
· focused on technical points
· Woolworths case reversed on appeal.
· Extensive advocacy campaign.
· Employers are required to take certain steps to achieve employment equity
· Steps are spelt out in:
· code of Good Practice on the Preparation, Implementation and Monitoring of Employment Equity Plans
· Department will present them as ten steps.
The Ten Steps
Step 1: Assign responsibility
Step 2: Communication, awareness and training
Step 3: Consultation
Step 4: Analysis
Step 5: Affirmative Action measures and objectives
Step 6: Time frames established
Step 7: Allocation of resources
Step 8: Plan communication
Step 9: Monitor, evaluate, and review
Step 10: Report
Phase 1: Preparation
STEP 1: Assigning responsibility
· EE Managers should:
· Be permanent employees
· Report directly to the CEO
· Have key employment equity outcomes
· EE Managers need:
· The necessary authority or mandate
· An appropriate budget
· Time off from other duties and commitments
· Access to required resources
STEP 2: Communication, awareness and training
· All employees should
· be made aware and informed of the content and application of the Act
· be sensitised with regard to employment equity and anti-discrimination issues
· be informed regarding the process to be followed
· understand the importance of their participation in the process
· be made aware of the need for participation of all stakeholders
· Managers should:
· be informed of their obligations in terms of the Act
· be offered training in diversity management and related skills
· understand that discrimination can be direct, indirect, or as a result of inaction or victimisation
STEP 3: Consultation
· Start process as early as possible
· How should this happen?
· A consultative forum should be established or an existing forum used if this is
· Who should be included?
· All stakeholders such as:
· Representative trade unions
· Employee representatives from:
· designated groups
· non-designated groups
· all occupational categories and levels
· Senior management, including the managers assigned with responsibility
STEP 4: Analysis
Firstly assess all employment policies, practices, procedures, and the working environment in order to:
· identify barriers that may
· contribute to the under-representation or under-utilisation of employees from the designated groups
· contribute to the lack of affirmation of diversity in the workplace
· adversely affect designated groups and
· identify practices or factors that positively promote employment equity and diversity in the workplace.
What should be reviewed?
· employee benefits arrangements
· disciplinary practices
· working conditions
· the number and nature of dismissals, voluntary terminations and retrenchments
· corporate culture
· practices relating to the management of HIVIAIDS in the workplace which could be discriminatory
· any other practices or conditions that are tabled by the consultative forum.
Secondly do a work place profile to determine the extent of under-representation of employees from the designated groups in the different occupational categories and levels of the employer's workforce.
An employer can compare his workforce profile:
· with those of organisations of his workforce a similar size
· with those of organisations within the same sector or industry
· with those of organisations which are structurally similar and whose activities spread over a similar geographic area
Phase 2: Implementation
STEP 5: Affirmative Action measures and objectives
· What are affirmative action measures?
· those measures that need to be taken to address the employment policies, practices, and working conditions that were identified in Step 4 as having an adverse effect on the employment and advancement of members of designated groups.
· For each specific practice identified, an affirmative action measure or measures need to be formulated and developed.
STEP 6: Time frames
· The duration of a plan should be between one and five years.
· Employers should decide on the duration of their plans given their particular circumstances and the timeframe in which they can make meaningful progress.
STEP 7: Resources
· There should be adequate resources including:
· Budgets which should be appropriately allocated.
· People such as the manager(s) assigned with responsibiIity.
· Time off for stakeholders.
· Infrastructure such as a project office or meeting rooms.
· Training and information sharing.
· Any other resources that may be appropriate in the circumstances.
STEP 8: Communicate the plan
· Communication should inform stakeholders:
· Who is responsible for the implementation of the plan
· Where information regarding the plan can be obtained
· Objectives and duration of the plan
· Dispute resolution procedures
· Roles and responsibilities
Progress report on affirmative action
· Documentation well received
· Large number of inquiries and presentations
· Some reports coming in but often not compliant
· Establishment of registry outsourced
· Feedback on compliance profiles expected November 2000.
Codes of Good Practice
· Codes and regulations promulgated by Minister after advise of Commission for Employment Equity
· Commission considered:
· Code on the preparation, implementation and monitoring of EE plans
· Regulations including forms.
· CEE is considering following Codes:
· Key aspects of HIVIAIDS and employment
· Disability management in the workplace
· Human resource policies and practices that support employment equity.
· HIVIAIDS code published for public comment
· Codes may be accompanied by technical assistance guidelines.
· Organs of state expected to report like all other employers
· In addition they are required to table a report in Parliament
· President needs to publish a list of all designated employers within organs of state by 1 June 2000.
· Section 53 of the Act has not yet been promulgated
· That employers have first submitted first reports;
· Co-ordination with the state and provincial tender boards.
Phase 3: Monitoring
STEP 9: Monitoring and evaluating the plan
· Employers should
· Keep records of the plan.
· Implement mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the plan.
· Evaluate progress at structured and regular intervals.
· Report on progress to the consultative forum and all stakeholders.
· Review and revise the plan through the consultation process.
STEP 10: Reporting
· Two reports have to be completed:
· Employment Equity Report- Form EEA2.
· Income Differential Statement- Form EEA4.
· Second report includes a progress report.
· 150 or more employees:
· Report annually to the Department of Labour
· 1 June 2000 and thereafter annually on the first working day of October.
· Less than 150 employees:
· Report bi-annually to the Department of Labour
· 1 December 2000 and thereafter every second year on the first working day of October.
· Fewer reporting requirements.
· Forms and annexures to the Regulations
EEA1 Employee Declaration
EEA2 Report Form
EEA3 Summary of the Act
EEA4 Income Differential Statement
EEA8 Demographic Information
EEA9 Occupational Levels
EEA10 Occupational Categories
· Code of Good Practice
· User Booklet