Understanding the difference between direct and indirect discrimination will go a long way in helping you comply with the EE Act
The Employment Equity Act (EE Act) is against unfair discrimination and it calls on you to curb it. According to the Act, unfair discrimination is when you unfairly discriminate, directly or indirectly, against any employee on one or more of the following grounds: Age, belief, birth, conscience, colour, culture, disability, etc.
You'll notice that the EE Act talks about 'direct and indirect discrimination'. There's a difference between the two and it's crucial that you understand both concepts.
If you don't, you may unfairly discriminate against employees - which means you'll be going against the EE Act.
Don't let this happen.
Read on to ensure you understand the difference between direct and indirect discrimination so you can comply with the EE Act and avoid penalties.
There are 26 changes to Employment Equity Act you must comply with in 2014...
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If you don't comply with them, the DoL will be on your case.
In fact, the DoL could fine you 10% of your turnover or up to R2.7 million!
Discover how to check if you're complying with all of them to avoid crippling DoL fines.
EE Act: What you need to know about direct and indirect discrimination
Direct discrimination is when you discriminate against people and treat them differently and less favourably because of who they are, says the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.
For example: Even though the job doesn't require it, you state in your job advert that 'only males must apply', or 'the ideal candidate will be white, married and speak Afrikaans'.
So what's indirect discrimination?
Indirect discrimination is when you apply factors or criteria which, although they may appear at face value to be fair and reasonable, unfairly exclude certain groups of applicants.
Here's an example of indirect discrimination: Fly High Airlines requires that cabin attendants be below 1.6 metres in height and less than 60 kilograms in weight.
This excludes many applicants who might still be able to perform the job although they don't meet the height and weight criteria set by the airline.
There you have it: Now that you know the difference between direct and indirect discrimination, comply with the EE Act and avoid harsh penalties.