The DOL (Department of Labour) hosted a workshop on Thursday 6 Sept 2013 to discuss the implementation of amendments to the Employment Equity Act.
As designated employers we need to respond in a positive manner and not merely because of the punitive measures that will result because of non-compliance.
The implementation of the Act has an impact on the labour market. AND we need to change our mind-set and embrace it because the Act is not unreasonable.
The youth in this country are unemployed and this represents a disaster waiting to happen. We also need to provide employment for people with disabilities as the Act affords them the opportunity to be gainfully employed.
By introducing equity in the work place through the implementation of the Act we can make a positive contribution to the economy and to the life of our business.
Herewith a few pertinent issues that will have impact on employers going forward.
- All designated employers have to submit Equity Plans on an annual basis.
- The amendments have been approved in principle and will be signed off in Parliament.
- Despite concerns that were tabled by business, Government is adamant that no arbitration measures will be put in place for those guilty of non-compliance.
- Inspections are already underway and the punitive measures are harsh.
- CEO’s of companies who are deemed to be in contravention of the Act will be hauled before the labour court.
- Fines will be commensurate with the severity of the contravention. The value of the fine could represent anything from 2% – 10% of total turnover.
- Contraventions are various but could be identified as:
- The absence of an EE forum or the lack of an EE plan.
- Instances where junior staff members are appointed as responsible for the implementation of EE. This is the responsibility of Top Management.
- Submission dates are not adhered to.
- Submission of inaccurate and incorrect data on the reports is a common problem.
- Evidence exists that reports are merely submitted because it is a requirement and are not intended to be implemented for business purposes.
Please note the following critical dates:
- Manual submissions close on 1 October 2013
- Electronic submissions close on 15 January 2014 – EconoBEE Newsletter dated Thursday 26 September 2013.