Labour advises companies on proper employment equity plans

The Department of Labour has advised companies to ensure that they have proper employment equity (EE) plans in place, this as currently proposed amendments to equity legislation will tie state contracts to compliance with legislation.

Department of Labour EE Directorate, Deputy Director: Niresh Singh said an EE plan has to spell out objectives, timeframes, be in line with legislation, have resources allocated to its implementation and be communicated at all levels in the organisation.

Singh also emphasised the importance of monitoring and evaluation of an EE plan, saying this must also be agreed prior by all stakeholders in a workplace.

He was speaking during a workshop designed to strengthen employment equity implementation and compliance mechanisms.

The workshop was held at the Olive Convention Centre in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

The workshop was held under the theme: Real transformation makes business sense. It is part of a national, annual campaign by the department to encourage employers to submit EE report plans.

The Department of Labour also uses the workshop to create awareness on compliance with the Employment Equity Act, publicise and help prepare the employers with the requirements needed to be used when submitting their online 2017 EE reports to the department.

The annual workshops started on 11 July in Kimberley. Workshops have been held in Rustenburg, Nelspruit, Thohoyandou, Polokwane, Bloemfontein and Richards Bay.

The next EE workshops will be held in the Eastern Cape, in East London (15 August) and Port Elizabeth (16 August).

The remaining workshops will be held as follows: Western Cape, George (22 August) and Cape Town (24 August); Gauteng, Pretoria (05 September) targeting mainly government departments at national and provincial level, Ekurhuleni (06 September), Vaal (07 September) and Ekurhuleni (08 September) targeting mainly municipalities.

The Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has partnered with the Department of Labour to share information on the status of employment equity case load.

CCMA Commissioner, Navie Green-Thompson said that transformation in the workplaces was a process and not a single act.

"A workplace has not transformed just because it has a more diverse looking workplace," Green-Thompson cautioned.

Green-Thompson disclosed that in May 2017 alone there were 318 cases of unfair discrimination based on arbitrary ground, 121 referrals on equal pay for work of equal value based on arbitrary grounds; 38 cases referred based on unfair discrimination based on race; 37 cases referred based on sexual harassment; 25 cases on the protection of employee rights; 12 on discrimination based on age and eight based on equal pay for work of equal value based on age.

The workshops are targeting: human resources executives and practitioners; EE Forum members; assigned senior EE managers/transformation managers; academics and trade unions among others.

The EE national workshops are held from 8h30-14h00.

Meanwhile, the EE Online and Manual reporting season opens on 1 September 2017.

Source: Government of South Africa