The Department of Labour (DoL) has advised companies to ensure that they have proper employment equity (EE) plans in place as proposed amendments to equity legislation will tie state contracts to compliance with legislation.
Speaking at a workshop on employment equity earlier this month, Niresh Singh, Deputy Director of DoL EE Directorate, 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.
The workshop, which forms part of an annual national campaign to encourage employers to submit EE report plans was held under the theme Real transformation makes business sense.
The DoL 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 Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has partnered with the DoL 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,” he 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 EE online and manual reporting season opens on 1 September 2017.