13 Sep Employment Equity, The Value In The SA Landscape
Entrepreneurs might find Employment Equity is a strain on any business, and it unnerves normal business practices. Often when not approached correctly, it will become just another tick-box and not adding any value whatsoever to your business. However, if applied correctly, employment equity will be a remarkable tool that will add value, improve productivity, increase your market share, give access to a larger talent pool, and improve racial and employee relations in the workplace.
Keep in mind that Employment Equity is a legal obligation bestowed on designated employers, and complying with the Act is not merely submitting a report at the end of the year. It is compulsory to have a Current Employment Equity Plan, done in accordance with the Act, and endorsed by the CEO/MD of the company. The Plan needs to be informed by the employees, and the employees need to be represented in an Employment Equity committee, that has its own set of rules and regulations with regard to establishment and responsibilities. Yes, this seems like a lot of work, however, if done in consultation with a specialist in Employment Equity, the admin burden is taken away, and replaced by bottom line benefit.
Let’s unpack this. EE committees becomes excellent ways of communicating with your employees often solving issues which would have remained brewing in the absence of such a forum. Thereby improving your employee relations. Secondly, it teaches employees to be tolerant to each other, reducing racial tension, and improving working relationships, therefore steering all employees in one direction, resultant in achieving the strategic goals. Furthermore, one can only benefit on your BBBEE scorecard. Better BBBEE score, more opportunities in the market! Best of all, you will be compliant, and will not run the high business risk of possible fines imposed by the Labour Court for non-compliance!
The Director-General may apply to the Labour Court, who may impose a fine ranging from the greater of R1.5 million or 2% of the employer’s turnover to R2.7 million or 10% of the employer’s turnover.
Bottom line, Employment Equity can be a profit driver, when implemented compliant with the EE Act, and done so with strategic goals of the company in mind. HR Ignite offers consulting and support in EE Implementation.
Written by Seapei Makgoga
Managing Partner: HR Ignite