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This controversial Employment Equity regulation is off the table! But do you know how the remaining regulations affect you?

by , 10 June 2014
Late last month, the Department of Labour removed the controversial Employment Equity Act regulation that called for employers to apply national demographics when recruiting.

While most employers are happy with this move, many are uncertain on how the remainder of the regulations will affect their businesses.

If you're in the same boat, continue reading to find the answer so you can comply with the Employment Equity Act (EEA) and avoid harsh penalties.

Here's how the remaining new Employment Equity regulations will affect your business

As it stands, businesses negotiating chamber, Nedlac, and its partners have given the remainder of the regulations the green light.

According to Global Business Solutions, the amendments to the Employment Equity Act were gazetted in January this year with only an announcement of an effective date pending.

The remainder of the regulations affect you as follows:

#1: Global Business Solutions explains that this new legislation places substantial emphasis on the prohibition and elimination of unfair discrimination by including the new section of equal pay for equal value.

According to this new section, if an employee believes that she's directly or indirectly unfairly discriminated against on the basis of pay in comparison to employees who perform work of the same or similar nature and value, the burden of proof shifts to the employer.

This means as an employer, you must justify the difference in pay and show that it's not based on prohibited grounds like race or gender, etc.

If you can't justify the difference when taking factors like performance, years of service, qualification or job grading system into account, you may have to pay a fine for unfair discrimination.

There's one more important point you need to know about when it comes to the remainder of the regulations.

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Make sure you know how the remainder of the Employment Equity regulations affect your business now that the controversial clause is off the table

#2: In terms of the regulations, you (the employer) may have to consult with representatives or the representative trade union to disclose information in order to eliminate unfair discrimination.

Note: The consultation section 16 of the Labour Relations Act will still apply if there's a dispute over disclosure of information.

Global Business Solutions says this means, 'more and more employers need to be able to justify a difference in pay by having a job grading system in place that will assist in ensuring fairness in remuneration.'

So how do you ensure you're in line with the new Employment Equity regulations?

You must have an Employment Equity Plan (EE Plan) and make sure it's in line with the new amendments.

Don't forget that having an EE Plan isn't enough; you have to implement what's in the plan and make sure everyone in the company knows about the plan.

The editor-in-chief of the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management, Janine Nieuwoudt recommends you follow these six guidelines to draw up your EE Plan.

There you have it. Government is serious about rooting out unfair discrimination in the workplace. So make sure you comply to avoid penalties.

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