Those employers who are still avoiding compliance with the employment equity (EE) legislation should be aware that:
- Those thousands of employers who do fall under this legislation cannot afford not to comply with it. This is because the penalties for non-compliance are extremely harsh and include a maximum fine of R1500 000.00.
- The excuse (for non-compliance) that the employer did not know how to implement EE has been invalidated by the Code of Good Practice on the Integration of Employment Equity into HR Policy and Practice published on 4 August 2005 in government gazette no. 27866. That is, this new code spells out how the employer’s EE obligations are to be integrated into its normal everyday human resources policies and practices. The code is very comprehensive and covers the following topics:
- Implementing Employment Equity
- Commencing Employment
- Job Analysis And Job Descriptions
- Recruitment & Selection
- Medical, Psychological & Other Similar Assessments
- During Employment
- Terms And Conditions Of Employment
- Job Assignments
- Performance Management
- Skills Development
- Promotion And Transfer
- Confidentiality And Disclosure Of Information
- Impact On Employment Equity
- Discipline, Grievance And Dispute Resolution
- Ending Employment
- Terminating Employment
- Exit Interviews
Space does not allow me to report on all of these topics. However, to give readers an idea of the in-depth nature of the provisions I have quoted below a portion of the code dealing with promotion and transfers as they relate to EE:
“Promotions and transfers have the potential to impact on numerical goals and accelerate equitable representation of all groups in occupational categories and levels within a workplace. These initiatives are key drivers for employment equity in that they can involve fast-tracking the advancement towards achieving numerical targets.
16.3. POLICY AND PRACTICE
16.3.1. Employers are prohibited from unfair discrimination in promotion and transfer decisions. One of the mechanisms for eliminating unfair discrimination is to ensure that written policies and practices specify the criteria, which apply to promotions and transfers. Managers implementing the policies and practices should be monitored to ensure that they are not applying these inconsistently.
16.3.2. An employer may implement a policy of preference toward members
of designated groups in transfers and promotions as a legitimate
affirmative action measure.
16.3.3. Lateral transfers to equivalent positions may be effectively
used to achieve employment equity targets. Reasonable provision must be
made where an employee requests a transfer.
Employers are advised that the fact that the legislators have taken the time and trouble to develop this 43 page code makes it clear that they are deadly serious about the implementation of EE.