The beauty about the law is that – for the most part – it is very cut and dried. The law is a set of rules that need to be followed. Should this not be done, there are consequences that are metered out. There is a set manner in which these rules need to be interpreted. However, sometimes people try to get a little creative with how this interpretation happens.
This happens especially with new aspects of law that are introduced into our law. A good example of this is the Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value provision which was introduced into the Employment Equity Act (EEA) a couple of years ago. The case of Zvigo v Society of Jesus in South Africa (2017) 26 CCMA 6.12.17 illustrates this.
Facts of the case
- An employee alleged that he performed the same, or similar, work to that which a colleague (who received higher remuneration) did.
- The employer stated that the two employees’ jobs were not similar in the slightest.
- It was discovered that the prior employee was in fact merely dissatisfied with his work and, he admitted, he did not perform work that was the same or similar to that of his higher-paid colleague.
- Accordingly, the case was dismissed.
Thus, if you find yourself faced with a dispute regarding Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value, ensure that you are on top of what this provision entails.