Stick and Carrot approach to Employment Equity

Date: 19 Nov 2018

Minister Oliphant, in the Employment Equity Amendment Bill 2018, indicates that companies which remain non-compliant and in breach of the Act continue to benefit from State contacts despite their non-compliance. Highlighting this fact places a magnifying glass on all designated employers. Speaking specifically to Section 53 of the Act does not mean to say that the government will continue to turn a blind eye in other circumstances.

Designated employers should expect to encounter criticism of Employment Equity Plans which have not been adequately designed with transformation at the core. More so, those who continue to ignore their own plans, favouring the status quo, will find themselves liable to fines.   In the Amendment Bill Minister Oliphant cites that the setting of conservative long-term goals bench-marked only to the EAP, resulting in low levels of transformation proves that that employers are showing a notable lack of intention for embracing the Act.

However, Minister Oliphant goes one step further in confirm that the reasons why designated employers have been able to “get away” with this is because of a lack of visible incentives or sanctions for non-compliance. When the Minister refers to the “carrot and stick” approach is she not reinforcing the idea that good work will be rewarded while bad work should be metered with harsh repercussions?

In which case, what can designated employers do in order to ensure that they do not fall into the latter category?

  1. Establish goals and targets which challenge the status quo
  2. Perform regular analysis of national and provisional EAP’s, as well as a performing  pre-emptive strike using analysis by industry which is provided by the CEE report
  3. The promotion or appointment of non-designated employees, which circumvent the plan, must be done in only extenuating circumstances.
  4. Extenuating circumstances should relate mostly to scarce skills and where this is the case, Skills Plans should cross-pollinate to training solutions within successions plans which will address these circumstances
  5. Implement penalties and rewards within KPI’s, thereby mirroring the governments “Stick and Carrot” approach