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'Equal pay for work of equal value'. What exactly does it mean?

by , 03 February 2017
'Equal pay for work of equal value'. What exactly does it mean?'Equal pay for work of equal value'. What exactly does it mean?

With Employment Equity, there's a phrase 'equal work for pay of equal value'.

Now this may seem straightforward, but the truth is that many can't help but ask, 'What exactly constitutes work of equal value?'

After all, how can you determine equal value if you don't even know what to look out for?

Let's a look...

What does work of equal value actually mean? 

Work is considered to be of equal value if the work your employees do is:

·         The same as the work of another employee. In other words, if their work is pretty much identical to the point where it's actually interchangeable;

·         The same as the work of another employee to the degree where you consider it so, even if it's not necessarily interchangeable; and 

·         Of the same value as the work of another employee in a different job.

How can you assess work value? 

In order to assess work value, you must first determine if:

·         The work concerned is in fact of equal value; and

·         If there's a difference in the terms and conditions of employment, INCLUDING remuneration;
Once you've determined, you must then determine if any differences amount to unfair discrimination in terms of race, gender or disability.

How can you assess if work is of equal value? 

In order to do this, you have to be objective when you assess the relevant jobs.

Look into the following criteria:

- The level of responsibility associated with the job. This includes responsibility for people, finances, materials etc.;

- The skills and qualifications required to do the work. Include formal AS WELL AS formal learning and experience;

- Physical, mental and/or emotional effort required to do the work; and

- If relevant to the job in question, the conditions under which the employee must work.

You should also consider any other factors which you think may show the value of the work.

Your assessment must be objective and fair. In other words, it must be unbiased.

Are you responsible for EE in your company? Read this now!

In the new amendments to the Employment Equity Act, the DoL says you must:
·         Get rid of all unfair discrimination – or face a R30 000 fine;
·         Draw up a legally compliant EE plan every year – and use the new method to submit;
·         Pay employees who do the same work equally – or risk being taken to court;
·         Set up an EE forum that is a correct representation of the nation – be careful, SAPS got this wrong;
·         Report on how you're achieving your EE goals – but what if you're not…?
·         And loads more

But do you even know where to start?
Get all the information you need to get to grips with the EE Act requirements.

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