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Employment equity 2016 deadline looming

An overview of the purpose of the Employment Equity Act and the requirements for businesses.

The purpose of the Employment Equity Act (EEA) in South Africa is:

  • To promote equal opportunities and fair treatment to all in the workplace by eliminating unfair discrimination; and
  • To implement affirmative action measures to redress the disadvantages in employment experienced in the past by members from designated groups

Employment Equity Act

IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT EMPLOYMENT EQUITY IN SOUTH AFRICA:

Who must submit an Employment Equity Report?

  • All Designated Employers must submit an Employment Equity Report (EER). The EEA defines a Designated Employer as follows:An employer with 50 or more employees; or

An Employer with fewer than 50 employees, who is subject to the turnover threshold applicable to designated employers. (* Contact SERR Synergy for your specific industry turnover threshold or visit Department of Labour website.)

A Municipality; or

An Organ of State; or

An employer bound by a collective agreement which appoints it as a designated employer.

  • Employers who voluntarily wish to comply with Section 14 of the EEA may do so.
  • Employers who have become newly designated on or after the first working day of April, but before the first working day of October, must only submit their first report on the first working day of October in the following year.

When must the EER be submitted?

An EER must be submitted once every year on the first working day of October or, if an electronic report is submitted, on 15 January the following year. Therefore manual (and posted) submissions for 2016 already closed 3 October 2016. Online submissions for 2016 need to be made by 15 January 2017.

Employers are advised that, while submitting their EE Report in time is crucial, this is not adequate to ensure full compliance with the requirements of the legislation. Employers are also legally bound to ensure that the report’s contents are factual and accurate and that they reflect sufficient progress with affirmative action in the staffing of their organisations as required by the EEA.

Why must an EER be submitted?  

  • It is a legal requirement as prescribed by the EEA

Non-compliance may have far-reaching consequences and affect a business adversely. Businesses may face fines of up to R2.7 million or 10% of annual turnover

  • It is important for purposes of obtaining a B-BBEE certificate

Under the Revised Codes for Good Practice a business will be verified on five elements, one of these being Management and Control. Without the Employment Equity Report (EER), no points will be awarded for Management and Control on the BEE Scorecard. This will most certainly have a negative effect on the overall score and level of the BEE certificate.

How must the EER be submitted?

Some employers submit their EE reports personally, others prefer hassle free submission by using industry experts.

SERR Synergy are experts in the development and implementation of Employment Equity Plans and submission of the required reports. We guide businesses through the process to ensure that equity in your organisation meets the requirements of the Employment Equity Act as well as supports the growth and success of your business. 

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