Home

 

Employment equity crackdown: A wakeup call to employers

By Michael Yeates, Director and Ashleigh Gordon, Candidate Attorney, Employment, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

 

The Department of Labour has announced that a National Director General Review has been initiated whereby 72 JSE listed companies are to be inspected to ensure that they have complied with the preparation of an Employment Equity Plan between the periods of July to December 2017. The Department of Labour’s Inspection and Enforcement Services has declared that six JSE listed companies have already been found to be non-compliant and have been referred for prosecution for failing to prepare Employment Equity Plans and other offences. 

 

Section 20(1) of the Employment Equity Act requires a designated employer to prepare an employment equity plan which will achieve reasonable progress towards employment equity in that employer’s workforce. This employment equity plan must include the affirmative action measures to be implemented, the procedures used to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the plan, the timetable setting out the plan, objectives, duration, procedures and internal management of disputes regarding the plan and the numerical goals to be achieved of the appointment of underrepresented persons from designated groups (“black people, women and people with disabilities”) in order to achieve equality in the workplace. 

 

A designated employer, who is obliged to comply with the abovementioned, section includes employers who employ more than 50 employees; or those employers with a total annual turnover equal to or above the annual turnover of a small business as prescribed, a municipality, an organ of state and employer bound by a collective agreement. A designated employer is required to report to the Director General on progress made in implementing their employment equity plan. 

 

Non-compliance with the provisions of the Employment Equity Act is monitored by complaints by any employee or trade union representative, the employment equity registry, Labour inspections and Director General Reviews. 

 

The National Director General Review involves the interrogation of company’s employment equity plans to ensure compliance with legislation and whether these plans result in transformation when the plan is implemented. Director General Review consists of a Department of Labour Inspectorate led compliance audit and may involve a documentary audit, as well as interviews with all stakeholders and the objective is to establish whether the employer is compliant and/or making genuine progress towards employment equity, over and above procedural compliance. 

 

In terms of s20(7), the Director-General may apply to the Labour Court to impose a fine in accordance with Schedule 1 if a designated employer fails to prepare or implement an employment equity plan in terms of this section. For a first time offence, an employer will be subject to a fine, the greater of R1 500 000 or 2% of the employer’s turnover. If the employer has contravened the provision once before the fine shall be the greater of R1 800 000 or 4% of the employer’s turnover. The fine increases depending on the repetition of the contravention.

 

The Department of Trade and Industry’s Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Commission has also recently announced that they intend to initiate an investigation against specific entities for possible violation of the B-BBEE Act. The penalty for violations of this Act includes fines up to 10% of annual turnover and individuals can be fined or imprisoned for up to 10 years. They can also be barred from contracting with state-owned entities for 10 years. 

 

It is evident that the recent announcements and inspections by these National Departments show that transformation in the workplace is not merely an aspiring paradigm that employers must attempt to comply with, but that it is an objective that must be at the forefront of employer’s priorities which must be strictly enforced. 

 

Companies who qualify as designated employers must be forewarned to be diligent in their compliance with Employment Equity legislation. Non-compliance with the provisions of the EEA could have serious ramifications for the company.

 

CDH is able to assist employers with checking their compliance against the provisions of the EEA and in preparing and advising on the implementation of an employment equity plan. 

 

For more information contact Michael Yeates at

Article published with the kind courtesy of Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr www.cliffedekkerhofmeyr.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Case Law Summaries and Articles

 

Can employees be dismissed for refusing to accept new terms and conditions of employment?

Can an employer dismiss employees because they refuse to agree to a change to their terms and conditions of employment? An initial answer may be, “yes”.

Read More >>>

 

Escape route: “Resignation with immediate effect”

The latest case in the ‘disciplining employees who have resigned with immediate effect’ saga has brought about more uncertainty as to whether an employee who resigns with immediate effect shortly before a disciplinary hearing can avoid disciplinary action and subsequent dismissal.

Read More >>>

 

Freedom of expression or incitement to commit an offence? A constitutional challenge

On 4 July 2019, the North Gauteng High Court handed down judgment in the case of The EFF and other v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and other (87638/2017 and 45666/2017) in which the EFF and Julius Malema (the applicants) sought to have s18(2)(b) of the Riotous Assemblies Act, No 17 of 1956 (Riotous Act) declared unconstitutional.

Read More >>>

 

Consolidated, comprehensive or general final written warnings

Regarding dismissal, according to the Code of Good Practice, “the courts have endorsed the concept of corrective or progressive discipline. This approach regards the purpose of discipline as a means for employees to know and understand what standards are required of them.

Read More >>>

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courses and Workshops

 

                                         

 
 

Shop Steward Training

28 August 2019

Emperors Palace Convention Centre

Employment Equity Committee Training

29 August 2019 (Fully Booked)

Tsogo Sun: Century City: Cape Town

30 August 2019

Tsogo Sun: Century City: Cape Town

27 September 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

04 October 2019

Southern Sun: Maharani: Durban

Basic Labour Relations

04 September 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Course

12 September 2019

Southern Sun: Maharani Towers: Durban

The OHS Act and the Responsibilities of Management

13 September 2019

Southern Sun: Maharani Towers: Durban

19 September 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

28 November 2019

Protea Hotel By Marriott Tyger Valley: Cape Town

Managing Day to Day Issues/ Problem Employees Full day workshop

20 September 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

27 September 2019

Tsogo Sun: Century City: Cape Town

AARTO and the Impact on Your Business

03 October 2019

Emperors Palace Convention Centre

Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment Course

18 October 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

21 November 2019

Tsogo Sun: Century City: Stay Easy: Cape Town

Workshop Incident/Accident Investigation Course

25 October 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

22 November 2019

Tsogo Sun: Century City: Stay Easy: Cape Town

  

 Our Clients 

 

Android App On Google Play

Android App On Google Play