Govt threatens to enforce employment equity if employer compliance unchanged

The 2018 employment equity report painted a bleak picture of a private sector unwilling to hire, train and up-skill black people.

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JOHANNESBURG - Government said it would do away with self-regulation by employers regarding the implementation of employment equity in workplaces if there was no change in compliance levels.

While the commission for employment equity had recorded an increase of 1.2% in the submission of employment equity reports over the past year, there had been little to no improvement in transformation.

The 2018 employment equity report painted a bleak picture of a private sector unwilling to hire, train and up-skill black people.

As a result, even though some improvement in black representation was recorded in lower management levels, many were rarely promoted to senior and top management.

Employment equity commission chairperson Tabea Kabinde said that this could not be allowed to continue.

"What we find is that there are opportunities that are created by natural attrition where people would resign and what is happening is that preference is still given to people from the white population group. And we believe that by enforcing Section 53 we will force employers to really consider persons from designated groups."

The annual report on employment equity analysed the state of transformation in the private and public sectors in line with affirmative action laws, which seek to redress high levels of racial and gender inequality in workplaces.

The report stated that at a broad level, the trends in the 19th report - just like in preceding years - are that there was a very slow pace of transformation even though there was a 3.6% decline in white representation at senior positions as compared to 2017.