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Employment Equity Act, 1998 (Act No. 55 of 1998)

Code of Good Practice

Preparation, Implementation and Monitoring of Employment Equity Plans

7. Planning phase


7.1) Assignment of senior manager 3


7.1.1) The planning phase should commence with the assignment of one or more senior managers who should have the responsibility for the development, implementation and monitoring of the plan. They should--
be permanent employees; and
report directly to the Chief Executive Officer.


7.1.2) The assignment of one or more senior managers implies that--
the employer should also provide the assigned managers with the necessary authority and means, such as an appropriate budget, to perform their allocated functions;
the employer is not relieved of any duty imposed by this Act or any other law; and
the employer should take reasonable steps to ensure that these managers perform their allocated functions. This could be done through the incorporation of key employment equity outcomes in performance contracts of the responsible managers as well as line managers throughout the organisation.


7.2) Communication, Awareness and Consultation 4


7.2.1) All employees should be made aware and informed of--
the content and application of the Act as preparation for their participation and consultation;
employment equity and anti-discrimination issues;
the proposed process to be followed by the employer;
the advantages to employees of participation in the process; and
the need for the involvement of all stakeholders in order to promote positive outcomes.


7.2.2) Employers are required to consult with regard to conducting an analysis, the preparation and implementation of the plan, and the submission of employment equity reports to the Department of Labour.


7.2.3) To ensure the successful implementation of a plan, employers should make every effort to include employee representatives in all aspects of the plan, especially the planning and development phases.


7.2.4) Managers should be informed of their obligations in terms of the Act, and training should be provided to them where particular skills do not exist. Examples of required training could include diversity management, coaching and mentoring programmes.


7.2.5) The communication of an employment equity strategy should focus on positive outcomes, such as the better utilisation of all of the employer’s human resources and the creation of a diverse and more productive workforce.


7.2.6) Communication should also include employees from non-designated groups5 and focus on the contribution that can be made by them.


7.2.7) Consultation with employees should commence as early as possible in the process.


7.2.8) A consultative forum should be established or an existing forum utilised. The forum should include employee representatives reflecting the interests of employees from both designated and non-designated groups and across all occupational categories and levels of the workforce. Representative trade unions, where these exist, or representatives nominated by such trade unions must be included in the consultation process.


7.2.9) The employer should be represented by one or more members of senior management.


7.2.10) Consultation would include--
the opportunity to meet and report back to employees and management;
reasonable opportunity for employee representatives to meet with the employer;
the request, receipt and consideration of relevant information, and
adequate time allowed for each of these steps.


7.2.11) To ensure an informed and constructive consultation process, structured and regular meetings of the consultative forum or forums should be held.


7.2.12) The disclosure of relevant information by designated employers is vital for the successful implementation of the plan. Such information could include--
the particular business environment and circumstances of the employer;
information relating to the relevant economic sector or industry;
relevant local, regional, and national demographic information relating to the economically active population;
the anticipated growth or reduction of the employer’s workforce;
the turnover of employees in the employer’s workforce;
the internal and external availability for appointment or promotion of suitably qualified people from the designated groups;
the degree of representation of designated employees in each occupational category and level in the employer’s workforce; and
employment policies and practices of the employer.


7.2.13) All parties should, in all good faith, keep an open mind throughout the process and seriously consider proposals put forward.


7.2.14) Where a representative body or trade union refuses to take part in the consultation process, the employer should record the circumstances, in writing, including those steps that the employer has taken to communicate and initiate the consultation process. A copy of this document should be provided to the representative body or trade union concerned.


7.3) Conducting an analysis 6


The purpose of the analysis is--

a) to assess all employment policies, practices, procedures, and the working environment so as to--
identify any barriers that may contribute to the under-representation or under-utilisation of employees from the designated groups;
identify any barriers or factors that may contribute to the lack of affirmation of diversity in the workplace;
identify other employment conditions that may adversely affect designated groups;
identify practices or factors that positively promote employment equity and diversity in the workplace; and
b) to determine the extent of under-representation of employees from the designated groups in the different occupational categories and levels of the employer’s workforce.


While the first type of analysis is of a more qualitative and legal nature, the second is mainly a statistical and data processing exercise.


7.3.1) Review of employment policies, practices, procedures, and working environment


A review of all employment policies, practices, procedures, and of the working environment should be undertaken in order to identify any barriers that may be responsible for the under-representation or under-utilisation of employees from designated groups.

a) The review should include a critical examination of all established policies, practices, procedures and working environment. These would include
employment policy or practices, such as recruitment, selection, pre-employment testing, and induction that could be biased, inappropriate, or unaffirming;
practices related to succession and experience planning. and related promotions and transfers to establish whether designated groups are excluded or adversely impacted;
utilisation and job assignments to establish whether designated groups are able to meaningfully participate and contribute;
current training and development methodologies and strategies, including access to training for designated groups;
remuneration structures and practices such as equal remuneration for work of equal value;
employee benefits related to retirement, risk, and medical aid to establish whether designated groups have equal access;
disciplinary practices that may have a disproportionately adverse effect on designated groups and that may not be justified;
working conditions that may not accommodate cultural or religious differences, such as the use of traditional healers and observance of religious holidays;
the number and nature of dismissals, voluntary terminations and retrenchments of employees from designated groups that may indicate internal or external equity-related factors contributing to such terminations;
corporate culture, which may be characterised by exclusionary social and other practices;
practices relating to the management of HIV/AIDS in the workplace, to ensure that people living with HI V/AIDS are not discriminated against; and
any other practices or conditions that are tabled arising out of the consultative process.
b) All practices should be assessed in terms of cross-cultural and gender fairness.
c) The review should take, into account more subtle or indirect forms of discrimination and stereo-typing which could result in certain groups of people not being employed in particular jobs, or which could preclude people from being promoted. Examples would include pregnancy, family responsibility 7, exclusionary social practices, sexual harassment, and religious or cultural beliefs and practices.


7.3.2) Workforce profile
a) The first step in conducting an analysis of the workforce profile is to establish which employees are members of designated groups. This information should be obtained from employees themselves. either from a declaration as provided for in Regulation 2(1) or from existing and dependable sources. An example of an existing and dependable source would be an employer’s database that contains the information required on employment application forms. If such existing records are utilised for this purpose, each employee should have the opportunity to verify or request changes to this information.
b) An analysis of the workforce profile should provide a comparison of designated groups by occupational categories and levels to relevant demographic data. Form EEA 8 contains some demographic data for this purpose, but there are many other sources of information that could be utilised and might be more relevant.
c) In addition to the demographics, both the availability of suitably qualified people from designated groups in the relevant recruitment area, as well as the internal skills profile of designated employees. should be taken into account. The relevant recruitment area’ is that geographic area from which the employer would reasonably be expected to draw or recruit employees.
d) Recruitment areas may vary depending upon the level of responsibility and the degree of specialisation of the occupation. Usually, the higher the degree of responsibility or specialisation required for the job, the broader the recruitment area.
e) The standard occupational classification as defined in form EEA 10 should form the basis for determining occupational categories. Occupational levels could be determined by any of the professional job grading systems (Paterson, Peromnes, Hay, etc.) or their equivalents as detailed in form EEA 9. In the absence of a formal job grading system, designated employers may use equivalent occupational levels as the basis for the workforce analysis.
f) Sections B and C of the Employment Equity Report as defined by form EEA 2 should guide employers in establishing information requirements to develop a plan, and provide the basis for developing a workforce profile.


3. See section 24 of the Act.

4. See sections 16 and 17 of the Act.

5. See the definition of "designated groups" in the Act.

6. See section 19 of the Act.

7. See the definition of "family responsibility" in the Act.