Employment Equity is evolving, which changes the scope of opportunities and risks associated with complying and failing to comply respectively. The below questions aren’t an exhaustive summary of the requirements of the Act, nor of the Labour Inspectors’ Employment Equity Checklist, but they will guide your thinking as you reflect broadly on your organisation’s exposure to the opportunities and risks around compliance.
Has your business conducted an Employment Equity awareness campaign for all its staff, as well as an analysis to ensure that all employment policies and practices are free of discrimination?
How have the Employment Equity requirements underscored by this analysis informed your organisation’s
Was the creation of your organisation’s Employment Equity Committee done through a demonstrably fair and inclusive process?
Has the Committee been trained on Employment Equity?
Is there a manager in place?
Is there an up-to-date Employment Equity Plan in place?
Has your organisation confidently anticipated the impact of the changes proposed to clarify the stipulations and provisions of the Employment Equity Act?
Are you aware that reporting requirements for 2020/2021 stand, despite pandemic-related disruptions?
Did you know that an organisation that’s become non-designated must have applied for system de-registration with the Department of Labour by the end of this year August? Designated employers, in terms of the Employment Equity Act, are those whose staff complement exceeds 50 people or whose turnover equals or exceeds their industry norm. Do you know whether your organisation falls under this category? If you aren’t sure, consider taking steps to find out even if you are an employee as opposed to a manager, director or owner.
Are you on track for submitting your returns by 15 January, 2021, if you have opted for an online submission? You are probably aware that submission is not the totality of compliance: rather, compliance means completing the EEA forms correctly and honestly. If your organisation is non-compliant to the Act it will affect your likelihood of obtaining the required Employment Equity Compliance Certificate once the regulation has been gazetted.
Are you aware that according to the Draft Code of Good Practice for the Prevention and Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work issued 20th of August, 2020, which must be adopted by all companies in South Africa, employers are under legal obligation to take proactive and remedial steps to prevent and eliminate all forms of Violence and Harassment in the world of work, which encompasses and exceeds the traditional workplaces, including conferences, workshops, social events and social media?
With COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in place, there is no prescription for the number of times an EE Committee must meet but there must be proof that meaningful meetings were held. Are you confident in your organisation’s consultative forum’s ability to establish a record that satisfies the threshold of meaningfulness?
Is your organisation aware of the Employment Amendment Bill in Parliament, or that organisations will be added to a compliance database that will expose them to an EE Inspector onsite audit to validate the certificate? If there’s a mismatch between the findings that justified the certificate and the real-world inspection, the certificate could be retracted.
Are you aware of a 4 May 2020 reminder from government that even in organisational restructuring and configuration processes, businesses are still legally obligated to comply with all the provisions of all employment laws to prevent unfair treatment and unfair discrimination policy practices against all employees? There are no legal provisions for exemptions, condonations or appeals in the EEA for submission of EE Reports.
With the 20th Commission for Employment Equity Report shows that transformation is still happening at a slow rate, it’s no wonder that the Department of Employment and Labour seeks to instal measures to aid compliance such as the Employment Equity Amendment Bill as well as promulgating Section 53 of the Employment Equity Act to make an Employment Equity Certificate of Compliance a prerequisite for accessing state contracts. Substantive compliance can improve stakeholder engagement and company culture, while giving you an indication of how your organisation is performing against its Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment requirements. The Management Control Element of B-BBEE hinges on Employment Equity compliance, which means the choice to comply well and not complying is the choice between extreme business risk and extreme business competitiveness.
Are you aware that failure to comply can attract fines starting at R1,500,000.00 for first-time offences?
If the answer to any of these questions is that you’re uncertain, contact BEE Novation urgently for compliance assistance. De