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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

8. Developing the plan


8.1) Duration of the plan 8


The duration of the plan should be for a period that will allow the employer to make reasonable progress towards achieving employment equity. This period should be no shorter than one year and no longer than five years. as specified in the Act.


8.2) Broad objectives of the plan


The broad objectives of the plan should be specified and a timetable developed for the fulfilment of each objective. These objectives should--

take into account the output of the planning phase;
take into account the particular circumstances of the employer; and
be aligned with and included in the broader business strategy of the employer.


8.3) Affirmative action measures 9


8.3.1) Affirmative action measures, to address the barriers identified during the analysis, should be developed to improve the under-representation of designated group members. Such measures relate to, but are not limited to the following:
Appointment of members from designated groups

This would include transparent recruitment strategies such as appropriate and unbiased selection criteria and selection panels, and targeted advertising.

Increasing the pool of available candidates

Community investment and bridging programmes can increase the number of potential candidates.

Training and development of people from designated groups

These measures include access to training by members of designated groups, structured training and development programmes like learnerships and internships; on the job mentoring and coaching, and accelerated training for new recruits. Where required, diversity training should be provided to responsible managers, as well as training in coaching and mentoring skills.

Promotion of people from designated groups

This could form part of structured succession and experience planning and would include appropriate and accelerated training.

Retention of people from designated groups

Retention strategies would include the promotion of a more diverse organisational culture; an interactive communication and feedback strategy; and ongoing labour turnover analysis.

Reasonable accommodation 10 for people from designated groups

These measures include providing an enabling environment for disabled workers and workers with family responsibilities so that they may participate fully and, in so doing, improve productivity. Examples of reasonable accommodation are accessible working areas, modifications to buildings and facilities, and flexible working hours where these can be accommodated.

Steps to ensure that members of designated groups are appointed in such positions that they are able to meaningfully participate in corporate decision-making processes

A conscious effort should be made to avoid all forms of tokenism. Candidates must be appointed with commensurate degrees of authority.

Steps to ensure that the corporate culture of the past is transformed in a way that affirms diversity in the workplace and harnesses the potential of all employees

Such steps could include programmes for all staff, including management, contextualising employment equity and sensitising employees with regard to the grounds of discrimination such as race, diversity, gender, disability, and religious accommodation.

Any other measures arising out of the consultative process


8.3.2) All corrective measures to eliminate any barriers identified during the analysis should be specified in the plan.


8.3.3) The employer is under no obligation to introduce an absolute barrier relating to people who are not from designated groups. for example having a policy of not considering white males at all for promotion or excluding them from applying for vacant positions.


8.4) Numerical goals 11


8.4.1) Numerical goals should be developed for the appointment and promotion of people from designated groups. The purpose of these goals would be to increase the representation of people from designated groups in each occupational category and level in the employer’s workforce. where under-representation has been identified and to make the workforce reflective of the relevant demographics as provided for in form EEA 8.


8.4.2) In developing the numerical goals. the following factors should be taken into consideration -
The degree of under-representation of employees from designated groups in each occupational category and level in the employer’s workforce:
present and planned vacancies;
the provincial and national economically active population as presented in form EEA 8;
the pool of suitably qualified persons from designated groups. from which the employer may be reasonably expected to draw for recruitment purposes;
present and anticipated economic and financial factors relevant to the industry in which the employer operates;
economic and financial circumstances of the employer;
the anticipated growth or reduction in the employer’s workforce during the time period for the goals;
the expected turnover of employees in the employer’s workforce during the time period for the goals; and
labour turnover trends and underlying reasons, specifically for employees from designated groups.


8.5) Consensus


In setting objectives and developing corrective measures, parties to the consultative processes should attempt to reach consensus on what would constitute reasonable progress over the duration of the plan.


8.6) Resources


Resources, including budgets, should be appropriately allocated in order to implement the agreed components of the plan.


8.7) Assignment of responsibility


Responsibility for implementation and monitoring of the plan, as assigned during the planning phase, should be confirmed and noted.


8.8) Dispute Resolution


Internal procedures for resolving any dispute about the interpretation and implementation of the plan should he agreed and specified.


The use of existing dispute resolution procedures should he encouraged provided that they are appropriate, and if necessary adapted to the needs of employment equity.


Alternatively, a mechanism with appropriate representation from employer and employees may be established in order to address and resolve such disputes.


8.9) Communication


8.9.1) The plan should be appropriately and comprehensively communicated to employees. This communication mechanism should indicate the parties responsible for the implementation of the plan and the agreed dispute resolution procedures. Information about the plan should be easily accessible to all levels of employees.


8. See section 20(2)(e) of the Act.

9. See sections 15 and 20(2)(b) of the Act.

10. See the definition of "reasonable accommodation" in the Act.

11. See section 20(2)(c) of the Act.