Employment Equity

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EMPLOYMENT EQUITY

Contents

PAGE

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 2
INTRODUCTION2
WHAT IS EMPLOYMENT EQUITY3
HOW DOES IT WORK3 - 4
WHAT IS AFFIRMATIVE ACTION5
IMPLEMENATION OF AFFIRMITIVE
& EMPLOYMENT EQUITY6 - 7
OBSTACLES & CHALLENGES7
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 8
CONCLUSION8
BIBLIOGRAPHY9

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This assignment deals with the Employment Equity Act of 19 October 1998. It covers the workings of the act in terms of equity and affirmative action and how it was implemented in Defy Appliances Ltd in 1999. It also covers some of the obstacles and challenges that were experienced by the company; as well as its success in other companies in South Africa

INRODUCTION

In 1994 South Africa experienced the birth of a democratic government. The current year is 2008 and it has now been 14 years since Nelson Mandela was elected the first black president of South Africa, he was later on preceded by Thabu Mbeki who became the second black president of South Africa. Due to the apartheid reign most historical legislation favoured the White Race and amendments had to be made in order to correct the rule of the past. One of the areas that were focused on was to bring about equality to the previously discriminated people of South Africa. This was partially achieved through the development of the Employment Equity Act of 19 October 1998. In my report I will elaborate further on the above act its meaning and the process that was followed in Defy Appliances Ltd to bring about a positive shift and change; in that future occurrences do not follow the same oppressive root as the past.

What is Employment equity?

Employment Equity focuses essentially on discrimination, past and present. Its stated objectives include the elimination of employment discrimination; ensuring employment equity to redress the effects of discrimination and to achieve a representative workforce.

HOW DOES IT WORK
Employment equity broadly contains two parts. The first concerns prohibition of discrimination. The second concerns affirmative action and the ways in which it is to be implemented and enforced in practice. The part dealing with discrimination proceeds from the premise that all citizens are equal before the law and that any unfair discrimination against any employee on any ground is prohibited. What is prohibited is not discrimination, but discrimination that is unfair. Having said that, the Act further specifically authorizes discrimination that amounts to affirmative action, and discrimination on the basis of the inherent requirements of the job. Most importantly, an employee, for purposes of the above provisions, includes an applicant for employment, which means that no unfair discrimination may be committed against a job applicant when new appointments are made. The discrimination sections, which also include prohibitions against certain medical and psychological testing, may be referred to the CCMA for conciliation and thereafter to the Labour Court. To this end, every designated employer must — consult with employees about the policy; conduct an analysis of barriers to advancement and under-representation of designated groups (i.e. black people, women and people with disabilities); prepare an employment equity plan of one to five years’ duration. The part relating to affirmative action only applies to designated employers, which are all employers with 50 or more employees, or an employer with fewer employees but with more than a stated annual turnover (which varies from R2 million to R25 million, depending on the sector). The Act imposes certain active duties on employers to effect affirmative action policies, report to the Director-General of Labour on an annual or bi-annual basis, depending on the size of the employer’s workforce; and appoint an employment equity manager. Designated employers must actively employ measures to eliminate...
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