KwaZulu-Natal Equity Enforcement gains momentum
2 March 2009
KwaZulu-Natal labour inspectors have stepped up Employment Equity (EE) law enforcement throughout the province, with 42 inspections already conducted at various companies since June last year. This is in addition to more than 1 100 procedural inspections undertaken during the same period.
An EE roving unit that was set up provincially to focus mainly on the substantive levels of compliance by designated employers sees itself surpassing the 48 mark target that it had set for a period of 12 months with four months still remaining. Inspectors are checking for compliance with the Employment Equity Act by scrutinising whether designated employers are implementing EE plans and applying affirmative action measures to end unfair discrimination in the workplace.
Inspectors are also checking the company’s workforce profile in comparison to the national economic active population demographics to establish equitable representation, workforce movement in relation to recruitment, promotion, termination, and skills development. From the inspections conducted so far, none of the employers were found to be 100 percent compliant during the first visit. The most common violations include affirmative action measures not being implemented, no consultation with workers taking place, EE plans not implemented and no senior manager assigned to drive the process. Written undertakings have been secured from these employers. Should it be found that the employer has failed in adhering to written undertaking a compliance order will then be served.
The matter may also be further referred to the Labour Court to apply for a compliance order be made an order of the court should employers persist in ignoring the law. Defaulters may be prosecuted and if found guilty, a minimum fine of R500 000 00 may be imposed.