Closing his 'Uniting Behind the Constitution' speech a few weeks ago, de Klerk said that 'the Constitution did not allow unfair discrimination and if affirmative action and BEE
were implemented in a way that constituted unfair discrimination, then it was wrong and unconstitutional,' reports an article on the Business Day Live's website
Now, Zuma's State of the Nation
address is calling for business owners to take heed of BEE
requirements to ensure they're complying with them.
But being BEE
compliant can't come at the cost of your existing employees. That's why you need to be really careful when it comes to putting together an employment equity
plan for your company.
Five ways to implement employment equity in your company
Here are five steps you can take to implement your company's employment equity
– without being accused of discrimination
– as outlined by The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.
Step #1: Educate and train all your staff
Educate your staff on what the EE Act
says and the rights and obligations of both employers and employees. It's also important to train any EE Representative Forum
(such as an employment equity
committee) so they've got expert knowledge on the full content of the EE Act
as well as their responsibilities and reporting requirements.
Step #2: Appoint an employment equity manager and committee
Appoint a senior manager to put employment equity
into place in your company. He should also then monitor EE. This person can also be the EE Committee Chairperson. Ensure the appointed EE Manager has sufficient authority to guide your company's employment equity
process and implement the recommendations of the committee.
Step #3: Develop an employment equity plan
Develop an EE Plan that includes your company's intended actions
regarding employment equity
Step #5: Complete the income differential statement
The responsible manager (often the financial manager) must complete the EEA4 form (income differential statement) for your company. This form shows the income differential between employees of different races and genders in the same occupational levels and explains any perceived differences.
Step #6: Submit your signed EE Report and completed income differential statement to the Department of Labour (DoL)
Companies who employ more than 150 employees must report their employment equity
status to the DoL every year on 1 October. Their records must reflect employee movement over the 12-month period. Companies that employ fewer than 150 employees must report every year that has an even number (e.g. 2014, 2016) on the 1 October. Their records must reflect employee movement over the 24-month period if staff have left the company or moved into other positions.
It's vital your company implement an employment equity
plan today not just to avoid being fined by the DoL for non-compliance, but to ensure you do your bit to right the wrongs of the past. Use these steps to ensure your employment equity
plan is fair and free from discrimination
. Do so now, before the changes to the BEE Act
Zuma highlighted in the State of the Nation
address come into play.