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

Code of Good Practice

Equal Pay/Remuneration for Work of Equal Value

6. Comparing and Evaluating Male- and Female Dominated Jobs


6.1 Discrimination in pay/remuneration based on the sex of employees is an international phenomenon found to a greater or lesser degree in all countries. The ILO has suggested that due to—
6.1.1 stereotypes with regard to women's work;
6.1.2 traditional job evaluation methods that were designed on the basis of male dominated jobs; and
6.1.3 weaker bargaining power on behalf of female workers .4


6.2 The use of job evaluation does, in itself, not ensure that there is an absence of unfair discrimination.
6.2.1 It is acknowledged that traditional job evaluation methods were designed on the basis of male-dominated jobs.
6.2.2 Predominantly female jobs often involve different requirements from those of predominantly male jobs, whether in terms of qualifications, effort, responsibility or working conditions.
6.2.3 Traditionally, female-dominated jobs were evaluated based on methods designed mainly for male-dominated jobs, which partly accounts for wage discrimination.
6.2.4 It is important to be vigilant when selecting the method of job evaluation and to ensure that its content is equally tailored to both female-dominated and male-dominated jobs. For instance, responsibility for money or equipment is often valued more than other forms of responsibility.
6.2.5 Jobs involving caring for others or cleaning may be undervalued because of the erroneous assumption that the skills involved in these jobs are intrinsic to nature of women and not acquired through learning and experience.5


6.3 Employers may therefore be required to establish the value of male- and female-dominated jobs in order to be able to ascertain whether particular jobs have been undervalued and to align female-dominated jobs with comparable male-dominated jobs in the organisation.


6.4 The fact that there are no comparable male-dominated jobs to female-dominated jobs within the employer's organisation, does not necessarily imply that there is no discrimination on grounds of sex or gender (or other prescribed grounds).


6.5 An employee may base a claim on the ground that they would have received higher pay/remuneration if they were not female. To succeed in such a claim, the employee would have to show that a male employee hired to perform the work would have been employed on different terms and conditions of employment.



4 See, for instance, Promoting Equity Gender -Neutral Job Evaluation: A Step -by -Step Guide (ILO, Geneva, 2008) and Equal Pay: An introductory guide (ILO, Geneva, 2013).


5 Equal Pay: An introductory guide (ILO, Geneva, 2013), Part 5.