During the 2018 employment equity (EE) reporting period, 27 485 employment equity reports were submitted by designated employers. These reports took into account 7 415 876 employees. This is an increase of 320 reports as opposed to the 2017 reporting period. “Whilst the number of submissions has increased year on year,” says Thembi Chagonda: Employment Equity Commissioner and Managing Director of Global Business Solutions, “this has not translated in better representation of designated groups particularly representation of Africans.”
The report highlights the objectives of the EE amendments which are to enhance the administration and compliance mechanisms of the Act by introducing enabling provisions for the setting of sector-specific EE targets and for the promulgation of Section 53 which applies to every employer who provides goods and services to any organ of State. These employers must comply with the provisions of the Act that are applicable to them. Says Chagonda, “Failure to comply with the provisions of Section 53 may result in loss of B-BBEE points for the management control pillar and non-compliance certificate. This may ultimately result in loss of business.”
Key findings of the 19th report include:
- Meaningful gains for women remain an area of concern, especially at the higher occupational levels. Interventions will be required going forward. It is necessary to have policies that will promote women empowerment.
- Employers are urged to set more aggressive disability employment equity targets to increase the representation of persons with disabilities in the workforce across all occupational levels.
- Representation of the Foreign National Population Group is of concern and employers are encouraged to assess the justification for them occupying positions that require very little or no skill at all.
- Equal pay for work of equal value principles, policies and procedures must be put in place in order to address pay inequalities in the workplace.
- Violence and harassment, which is not limited to sexual harassment, is a growing concern worldwide and employers must ensure that they have firm policies in place around the elimination and treatment of such cases
“The provisions of Section 53 may provide barriers to an organisation that has received an award for unfair discrimination,” concludes Chagonda. “This means that is important for employers to have policies preventing unfair discrimination. Awareness and induction on implementation of such policies – amongst employers and employees – is of critical importance.”