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

Code of Good Practice

Integration of Employment Equity into Human Resource Policies and Practices

Part B : During Employment

11. Terms and Conditions of Employment


11.1 SCOPE


This section of the Code deals with terms and conditions of employment including working time and rest periods, leave of all kinds13, rates of pay, overtime rates, allowances, retirement schemes, medical aid and other benefits.




11.2.1 An employer may not discriminate unfairly in the terms and conditions of work or access to benefits, facilities or services that are available to employees.


11.2.2 Eligibility for benefits should not be determined on the basis of one or more of the prohibited grounds or other arbitrary grounds.




11.3.1 Every employer is required by the Act to audit its terms and conditions of employment to identify whether they contain any unfair direct or indirect discrimination policies and practices. This should be followed by monitoring all changes in the terms and conditions of employment to ensure that all barriers or unfair discrimination policies and practices are removed. An employer should also regularly conduct practice audits to test the perceptions of employees about whether its terms and conditions of employment and practices are non-discriminatory. An employer may address deficiencies identified through appropriate awareness raising initiatives and other barrier removal mechanisms. These should form a component of the employer’s Employment Equity Plan.


11.3.2 Employers should provide training, information and literature to trade union representatives and employees on the applicable terms, conditions and available benefits.


11.3.3 Maternity leave should not result in the loss of benefits for employees upon return to employment.


11.3.4 An employer should provide reasonable accommodation for pregnant women and parents with young children, including health and safety adjustments and antenatal care leave.


11.3.5 Employers should endeavour to provide an accessible, supportive and flexible environment for employees with family responsibilities. This includes considering flexible working hours and granting sufficient family responsibility leave for both parents.


11.3.6 Employers should examine the use of terms and conditions of their fixed term contract employees14 to ensure that they are not unfairly discriminated against. Fixed-term-contracts can potentially undermine employment equity. This may occur where the employer tends to appoint certain groups of employees (Le. black people, lower level employees and women) to fixed term contracts as a matter of practice.




11.4.1 Remuneration - An employer must provide equal pay for equal work or for work of equal value.


11.4.2 Retention - Favourable terms and conditions of employment for employees can serve as an affirmative action measure to promote, attract and retain individuals from designated groups, but should be used with caution as a justified affirmative action measure.


11.4.3 Working environment - Flexibility in the terms and conditions of employment (i.e. working hours and schedules, work from home options, job sharing, career breaks, etc.) are examples of a flexible working environment that may promote the retention of employees, particularly members from designated groups.



13 Leave includes annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave and family responsibility leave or any other types of leave.


14 A 'fixed term contract employee' is a person who is employed on a contract that includes an agreement detailing the relationship between the employer and employee, which is determined by an objective condition that creates no false expectations of renewal of the contract, and is based on a specific duration or time frame with dates or the completing of a specific task or happening or event.