Businesses who fail to submit an Employment Equity Report will also receive no points under the Employment Equity element of the B-BBEE scorecard. So not achieving the objectives of the Employment Equity Act affects businesses in terms of legal costs as well as potential loss of business opportunities.
An employment equity plan is an employer’s plan documenting the steps they intend to follow in order to promote equal workplace opportunities and eliminate discriminatory practices and policies. While it can be summed up in such a short sentence, there is more to understanding how employment equity works.
The following are some of the things to keep in mind regarding employment equity plans:
It is a necessity
Any business declared to be a designated employer is required to submit an employment equity report. A designated employer, in terms of the Employment Equity Act, is:
- Any employer with more than 50 employees
- An employer with fewer than 50 employees, but with an annual turnover equal to or greater than the applicable amounts stated in Schedule 4 of the Employment Equity Act.
Although there is no exact format required for an employment equity plan, achieving the objectives of the Employment Equity Act requires some kind of plan. Without thorough planning businesses will likely be directionless in their attempts to achieve these objectives.
Therefore, businesses are required to draw up and submit a plan which clearly sets out the steps they intend to follow towards achieving employment equity.
What should be included in an employment equity plan?
As the Department of Labour is tasked with monitoring the implementation of these plans, there are certain requirements that must be included in your plan. According to the Department of Labour, you must include the following:
- Objectives for each year
- Affirmative action measures to be implemented
- Where black people, women and people with disabilities are not represented –
* Numerical goals to reach this
- Timetables for annual objectives
- The duration of the plan (between one and 5 years)
- Procedures to be used for monitoring and evaluation of the plan
- Methods for solving disputes regarding the plan
- The people responsible for implementation of the plan
Why is the Employment Equity Act important?
Achieving the goals of the Employment Equity Act is important as a means of correcting the discriminatory practices of the past. Gender, racial and various other forms of discrimination have hampered the developmental progress of societies globally, so any practice put in place to correct this is important.
The importance of the employment equity act, and meeting the objectives thereof, is also of concern for individual employers. If an employer is found guilty of non-compliance they are liable to face fines of up to 10% of their annual turnover, or an amount of up to 2,7 million rand.