Who is a Designated employer in terms of current legislation?

A company is considered a designated employer if they employ 50 or more employees or if they exceed the annual turnover threshold in terms of schedule 4 the Act.

Employment Equity Preparation Phase

  • Assign responsibility: Identify and appoint a Senior Manager of permanent staff as an EE Manager. An EE manager must be appointed in writing by the CEO and should have the necessary authority, resources, and budget to perform his/her functions.
  • Communication, awareness, and training: Communicate clearly with all staff regarding the requirements of the EE Act and the importance of them participating in the process. Make sure the EE Act legal wall chart is displayed in the workplace. Share information/train staff and managers on their obligations i.t.o the Act.
  • Consultation: Establish an employment equity committee representative of designated and non-designated groups, trade union representatives (if applicable), and a member of senior management. Appoint members in writing and notify all staff. Schedule structured quarterly EE meetings to give an opportunity to representatives to meet and consult on the conducting of an analysis, the development of an EE plan, and submitting of reports to the Department of Labour annually. Keep a record of the agenda, minutes, and supporting documents.
  • Analysis:
  • Ensure that all staff members have completed an EEA1 form
  • Do a workforce profile analysis to determine the extent of under-representation of employees from the designated groups in the different occupational levels of the employer’s workforce in terms of race, gender, and disability. Compare this with the regional and national EAP.
  • Assess all employment policies, practices and procedures and the working environment to identify barriers that may:
    • contribute to the lack of affirmation of diversity in the workplace.
    • adversely affect designated groups; and
    • identify practices or factors that positively promote employment equity and diversity in the workplace.
  • Document the above in an analysis document (EEA12), consult with the EE committee and use it to inform the company’s EE plan.

Implementation Phase –  Developing an EE plan

It is essential to consult and reach a consensus on the content of the company’s EE plan. The EE plan should be drawn up in terms of Section 20 of the EE Act.

  • The following is vital:
    Objectives & Numerical goals & Targets: Based on the workforce analysis completed in Step 4, identify, consult, and decide on the annual objectives, numerical goals, and targets to be included in the EE plan.
  • Affirmative Action measures: formulate and develop Affirmative Action measures in response to the employment policies, practices, and working conditions that were identified in Step 4 as having an adverse effect on the employment and advancement of members of designated groups.
  • Timeframes: The duration of the EE plan should be between one and five years. Employers should decide on the duration of their plans taking into consideration their business/strategic plan, workforce size, location, and the timeframe in which they can make meaningful progress.
  • Resources: There should be adequate resources including budgets, people, time off for stakeholders to meet, infrastructure, training, and information sharing.
  • Communicate the plan: Share the EE plan and make sure this is included in the plan:
    • Who is responsible for the implementation of the plan.
    • Where information regarding the plan can be obtained.
    • The objectives and duration of the plan.
    • Dispute resolution procedures; and
    • Roles and responsibilities.

Monitoring Phase

  • Monitoring and evaluating the EE plan by employers to:
    • Keep records of the EE plan.
    • Implement mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the plan.
    • Evaluate progress at structured and regular intervals.
    • Report on progress to the EE committee/staff during quarterly meetings; and
    • Before implementing a new EE plan, review and revise the plan through the consultation process and according to the EE Act.
  • Reporting:
    • Report to the Department of Labour as required by section 21 of the EE Act.
    • A designated employer needs to report to the Department of Labour annually. Manual reports due by 1 October each year and online reports by 15 January each year.
    • Reporting is done on the company’s movements, recruitments, terminations, and promotions, as well as staff income for a 12-month period.
    • Through this reporting, the Department of Labour assesses whether the objectives in the employment equity plan were achieved.

Complying with the Equity Act does not only requires a designated employer to report once a year on the movements and employee income within the company. Employment Equity requires a process, and the duties of the designated employer need to be executed continuously throughout the year to comply with the Equity Act to be prepared for Department of Labour EE Audits and to avoid hefty penalties.

D I Manage provides expertise and assistance with the entire EE process. Contact us on 021 880-2361 or send an email to info@dimanage.com and a consultant will be in touch with you.