According to LabourNet, the move by the DoL to increase the frequency of EE compliance inspections across the country means that not only does all your paperwork need to be in order, but you need to have a tangible EE Plan which includes detailed objectives, clear strategies and sound structures to enable the achievement of your EE goals and targets.
To ensure your house is in order, create an EE file that has the following information for an inspector to view:
12 documents that should be in your EE File for an inspector to view
#1: Your current EE Plan: This is the signed copy of the current EE Plan signed by the CEO. It's also a good idea to also keep a copy of the previous plans in the file;
#2: Records which show how your EE Plan has been communicated to all staff and where employees can freely view or copy your plan;
#3: EE nominations and acceptance: The file should contain the documentation related to the nomination and election of the members to the EE Committee as well as signed EE Member Acceptance Forms;
#4: Appointment of EE Manager: The EE Manager must sign a letter appointing him to the position and accepting his responsibilities as the EE Manager. Include a copy of his goals that clarify his responsibilities in terms of EE;
#5: EE Committee Members: Keep a current list of EE Committee members on file. Remember to update the list each time a committee member is appointed or resigns;
#6: EE Constitution: When the committee is first established, they need to agree to a constitution which covers their EE duties and responsibilities. This Committee must agree on the constitution and every member must sign it. It should also include a Code of Conduct;
#7: Minutes of the EE Meetings: These, as well as the attendance registers, must be filed in the EE file;
#8: EE–related complaints: Written employee complaints that are related to any EE matter or unfair discrimination claim should be filed along with a record of any actions taken in the matter;
#9: Qualitative analysis: The file needs to contain the results of the qualitative analysis carried out by the company in terms of the EE Act requirements;
#10: EEA1: Declaration by Employee: These forms need to be recorded in the employees' personal file, but it's a good idea to keep a copy of all existing employees' forms in the EE file so they're ready for inspection by the DoL;
#11: EEA2: Report: Workplace Profile and Numerical Targets: Keep the following in the file:
#12: Latest Workplace Skills Plan and Training Report: Keep this in the file to make sure that Affirmative Action-related training is taking place.
Beware, the DoL inspectors can interview members of the EE Committee or any other employee or manager at your company.
For example, they'll often interview EE Committee members and ask them to explain the Committee's role. They'll also check if the company is consulting with employees according to the Act. They'll check if EE information is being communicated to employees by asking them if they know about EE issues, their rights and obligations, explains the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.
Remember, if your company employs more than 150 employees, you must submit your signed EE Report and completed income differential statement to the DoL every year on 1 October. Failure to comply with the Employment Equity Act (EEA), will result in a fine of up to R900 000.
'In addition to possible fines, you could also be precluded from scoring any points at all under the Employment Equity element on your B-BBEE scorecard,' says LabourNet.
So ensure you have an EE file with these documents to stay of the right side of the law and pass your inspection.