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October 8, 2018

Checking in on Employment Equity (pg 10)

Checking in on Employment Equity 

>> Jonathan Goldberg (Global Business Solutions)

Many roadmaps have been drawn, and successfully embarked upon, with the goal of achieving true equity in the workplace. The Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) issues an annual report about where the country is in terms of achieving its employment equity goals in South Africa. At the end of June, the CEE released its 18th annual report which paints a mixed picture of the South African employment landscape.

The number of employment equity reports submitted increased from 12 980 in 2001 to 27 163 in 2017. There are still some challenges to overcome in employment equity reporting. For example, careless errors in the reporting of designated groups in the workplace may have resulted in the figures being omitted from the report.

The growth in the designated group number at executive and senior management has been significantly slow in the past three years. This presents a potential problem as we need to really understand why this is the case. It is a complicated issue that has a number of aspects that contribute to this issue.

In terms of persons living with disabilities, between 2001 and the current report, there was unfortunately only a slight increase – from 1% to 1.3% – across all occupational levels. From the data gathered from the employment equity reports submitted in the 2017/2018 reporting period, the majority of companies choose to hire white men who are suffering from a disability which indicates that there is not much – if any – equitable representation in this designated sector.

At present, there is no reputable benchmark against which the equitable representation – of persons with disabilities in the workplace – can be measured. The conclusion of this year’s CEE report stated that it is up to Stats SA to ensure that this benchmark is set.

This year’s CEE report analysed the barriers to affirmative action and indicated that few companies are identifying barriers to employment equity. This shows why there is slow progress to transformation. They concluded that if companies are not acknowledging barriers to recruitment, appointments and other barriers there would be no reason to put corrective measures in place.

The implementation of sectoral targets per sector seems to be a measure that the CEE believes will help progression. Only time will tell if this, or a proper analysis of why progress is so slow at senior levels, is not what needs to be done.

Many roadmaps have been drawn, and successfully embarked upon, with the goal of achieving true equity in the workplace. The Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) issues an annual report about where the country is in terms of achieving its employment equity goals in South Africa. At the end of June, the CEE released its 18th annual report which paints a mixed picture of the South African employment landscape.

The number of employment equity reports submitted increased from 12 980 in 2001 to 27 163 in 2017. There are still some challenges to overcome in employment equity reporting. For example, careless errors in the reporting of designated groups in the workplace may have resulted in the figures being omitted from the report.

The growth in the designated group number at executive and senior management has been significantly slow in the past three years. This presents a potential problem as we need to really understand why this is the case. It is a complicated issue that has a number of aspects that contribute to this issue.

In terms of persons living with disabilities, between 2001 and the current report, there was unfortunately only a slight increase – from 1% to 1.3% – across all occupational levels. From the data gathered from the employment equity reports submitted in the 2017/2018 reporting period, the majority of companies choose to hire white men who are suffering from a disability which indicates that there is not much – if any – equitable representation in this designated sector.

At present, there is no reputable benchmark against which the equitable representation – of persons with disabilities in the workplace – can be measured. The conclusion of this year’s CEE report stated that it is up to Stats SA to ensure that this benchmark is set.

This year’s CEE report analysed the barriers to affirmative action and indicated that few companies are identifying barriers to employment equity. This shows why there is slow progress to transformation. They concluded that if companies are not acknowledging barriers to recruitment, appointments and other barriers there would be no reason to put corrective measures in place.

The implementation of sectoral targets per sector seems to be a measure that the CEE believes will help progression. Only time will tell if this, or a proper analysis of why progress is so slow at senior levels, is not what needs to be done.

 

SPECIAL MENTION:

At the 2018 Future of HR Awards on 19 July held in Sandton, Johannesburg, Global Business Solutions CEO and labour law expert, Jonathan Goldberg, walked away with the coveted CEO of the Year accolade. The award recognises a demonstrable track record in prioritising the wellbeing of their people. The winner is considered a change management and employee engagement champion; a leader who enriches and inspires all around him, while being instrumental in driving business performance. Says Jonathan on winning the award: “I am humbled and grateful for this recognition. This award is dedicated to my fantastic team at Global Business Solutions.”