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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

13. Job Assignments


13.1 SCOPE


Job assignments relate to the type of work that is allocated to an employee by their employer. An employer should make decisions on the allocation of job assignments on objective criteria.




Unfair direct and indirect discrimination often occur as a result of the way in which work is allocated in a workplace. Where job assignments are based on prohibited grounds or arbitrary characteristics, this may perpetuate unfair discrimination and may result in undermining employment equity. Discrimination in job assignments may occur where there is informal mentoring by a manager who is perceived to favour a particular employee.




13.3.1 As part of the policy and practices audit, an employer should identify whether any unfair discrimination occurs in the ability of all employees to access opportunities.


13.3.2 Employers should guard against conduct that perpetuates perceptions of favouritism, which could lead to allegations of unfair discrimination. Access to opportunities should occur on an objective and fair basis to ensure that such perceptions do not arise, and where they do arise, they should be dealt with effectively and expeditiously.


13.3.3 Employers should also monitor behaviour of managers in allocating job assignments, particularly where certain trends can be determined, as these may indicate the existence of indirect unfair discrimination.




13.4.1 Induction - An employer should explain, especially during the induction process, the policies or guidelines that apply in relation to how work or opportunities are allocated.


13.4.2 Job analysis and job descriptions - A clear job description could ensure that no unrealistic expectations are raised regarding access to opportunities.


13.4.3 Performance management - Access to work assignments that enhance career opportunities, or are considered to be desirable, should be allocated objectively by linking them to the career path of employees. These should be clearly communicated to employees to ensure that no misperceptions arise and to prevent allegations of unfair discrimination.


13.4.4 Retention - In some instances, allowing certain employees access to work related opportunities that are considered to be "exciting" could be used as a retention measure - i.e. where an employer gives preference to senior managers from designated groups in allocating these opportunities. This should be used with caution as it can have significant organisational implications and can cause resentment where the objectives of such a strategy are not clearly understood or communicated.


13.4.5 Skills development - Access to opportunities and work assignments should form part of an employee's development plan and an employer's Workplace Skills Plan.