Insights: Employment Law

What are affirmative action measures?

Affirmative action is a way of making the workplace more representative and fair. It connects qualified people from designated groups with equal opportunities in the workplace. Affirmative action falls under the EEA and must be linked with your EEPlan to be lawful.

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How to tell the difference between a quota and numerical targets/goals

Quotas are prohibited by our Constitution, as it echoes the unlawful practices that took place during Apartheid. For example, a company places a moratorium on hiring any white candidates for the duration of its current EE plan. You know you are dealing with a quota, if the company is completely inflexible in how it implements its numerical goals/targets and places an absolute barrier on employment practices affecting a specific group of applicants.

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How to tell the difference between a numerical goal and numerical target

The numerical goals are a designated employer's projection of what it aims to achieve at the end of its current employment equity plan regarding its entire workforce.

Numerical targets are a designated employer's projection of what it aims to achieve at the end of its current reporting period (annually).

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How to tell the difference between misconduct and incapacity

You know you are dealing with misconduct, if the person has shown you, they can follow the rule, but they are choosing not to. Proof of this is, they have successfully completed this exact job, before.

You know you are dealing with incapacity, if the person wants to follow the rule, but for some reason they cant. Proof of this is, they are very ill, or the standard of work has been increased and they need more training.
Andrea de Jongh, Employment Lawyer and Privacy Governance Specialist. Making legal concepts accessible.

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How to tell the difference between an Employment Equity Plan and an Employment Equity Report

A designated employer may choose to have an employment equity plan of not less than a year or for more than five years. The plan must outline the steps an employer will take to eliminate practices that constitute unfair discrimination and to remove employment barriers, as well as to achieve equitable representation of employees from designated groups by means of affirmative action measures.

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What is meant by the Designated Group

In South Africa, this group is made up by black people (including black, coloured and Indian people), women and people with disabilities. Historically, these groups have been under-represented in many key work areas (and over-represented in others). Chinese people should be counted with coloured people for purposes of your numerical goals and numerical targets.

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What is Barrier analysis and what does it have to do with Affirmative Action

It is an investigation of any triggers indicating that workplace procedures, policies, or practices are having a negative impact on one or more of the designated groups, with the aim towards identifying the root causes of those anomalies to empower you to address and eliminate them.

Affirmative Action measures are what designated employers identify and implement to address and eliminate those anomalies they have identified. The progress made in addressing and eliminating the triggers, are what designated employers report on in their employment equity plans.

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