The Employment Equity Act (EEA) states that employers with 100 or more employees must develop annual plans outlining goals and timetables to maintain EE labour laws, updated every three years. This plan must include how they intend to remove all employment barriers which target designated groups or minorities in South Africa for equal working opportunities.
These designated groups include women, indigenous people, those with disabilities, and members of a visible minority. The employer must prepare an EE plan for labour compliance and remain in line with labour regulations, which may include reshaping old barriers to accommodate those with religious commitments, hearing or seeing difficulties, or cultural practices, to name a few.
Businesses must also acquire an EE manager to oversee that all promises outlined inside the EE plan are carried out effectively. This manager must be selected from the designated group in the business, ensuring they meet various criteria. However, promoting in-house presents challenges as most applicants will view themselves as having enough experience and dedication within the business.
Among employees, having relevant qualifications or experience in taking on a higher post for greater responsibility and higher compensation must come into play. While there will undoubtedly be a dispute surrounding this aspect, it is at the employer's discretion to analyse the pool of in-house designated applicants to make a final decision.
While prior experience and qualifications are necessary criteria to meet, the employer must also look at efforts made regarding added value towards company growth. It may include analysing applicants’ attendance and disciplinary records and past loyalty to the business. These factors in conjunction with experience and qualifications will contribute to reaching a final decision.
Undertaking the job of EE manager is no small feat. Applicants must be up for the job daily. Any slip-ups or misleading information and data could result in the company facing legal consequences upon inspection. If an employer deems that a qualified individual may not be ideal for the role due to external responsibilities, the employer is within their right to make this decision at their discretion.
When reaching a final decision, an employer must revise all the above-mentioned criteria to reject an applicant from taking on the role. Employers may not unfairly discriminate against an applicant solely based on a lack of relevant experience.