Category Archives: Employment Equity

Code Of Good Practice – On The Prevention and Elimination of Harassment in The Workplace

This code has been in development for some years. The Employment Equity Act, since its promulgation in 1999 has defined harassment as a form of discrimination, particularly if the harassment can be linked to the forms of discrimination listed in the EEA, i.e.

Race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, family responsibility, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, HIV status, conscience, belief, political opinion, culture, language, birth.

In 2014, they added “or on any other arbitrary ground” to this list

What the Employment Equity Act did not do was define harassment.  They did define Sexual Harassment in a Code, which actually was published prior to the promulgation of the EEA as part of the Labour Relations Act.  This code does define harassment and gives it a very wide definition, and it also defines separately racial, ethnic or social origin harassment. 

Harassment is defined in the code as:

  1. Unwanted conduct which impairs dignity
  2. Which creates a hostile or intimidating work environment
  3. It is related to one or more grounds in respect of which discrimination is prohibited in terms of the EEA.

Harassment includes violence, physical abuse, psychological abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, gender-based abuse and racial abuse.
Types of harassment described in the code include:

  • Physical attacks including:
    • Threatened or simulated violence (raising a fist or throwing objects near a person)
  • Verbal bullying including.
    • Shaming
    • hostile teasing
    • insults
    • constant negative judgement
    • criticism
    • racist sexist or LGBTQIA phobic language
  • Psychological harassment
  • Passive Aggressive or covert harassment includes
    • Negative gossip
    • Negative joking at someone’s expense
    • Sarcasm
    • Condescending eye contact
    • Facial expression or gestures
    • Mimicking to ridicule
    • Deliberately causing embarrassment and insecurity
    • Invisible treatment
    • Marginalization
    • Social exclusion
    • Professional isolation
    • Deliberately sabotaging someone’s dignity, well-being, happiness success and their career performance
    • Mobbing by a group of people targeted at one or more individuals
  • Online harassment or cyberbullying using any of the communications technologies

Examples of harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • Slandering, maligning or spreading rumours maliciously
  • Conduct which humiliates, insults or demeans an employee
  • Withholding work-related information or supplying incorrect information.
  • Sabotaging or impeding the performance of work
  • Ostracising, boycotting or excluding the employee from work or work-related activities
  • Persecution such as threats and the inducing of fear and degradation
  • Intolerance of medical, disability, or personal circumstance
  • Surveillance of an employee without their knowledge and with harmful intent
  • Use of disciplinary or administrative sanctions without objective cause, explanation, or efforts to problem-solving
  • Demotion without justification
  • Abuse or selective use of disciplinary proceedings
  • Pressuring an employee to engage in illegal activities or not to exercise legal rights
  • Pressuring an employee to resign

The code distinguishes between vertical harassment (the abuse of an employee by their manager) and horizontal harassment, (the abuse of an employee by another employee in the same position or level).

Conclusion

The process for investigating incidents of harassment is outlined in both this code and the code for sexual harassment, and failure to do so could lead to the company being taken to the CCMA for failing to protect the employee and the perpetrator facing both criminal and civil proceedings.

The code requires all companies to adopt a policy for harassment in the workplace and to ensure that all employees are made aware of the policy and the code and the potential consequences to both them and the company. 

Remember, harassment is seen as a form of victimisation and therefore an automatically unfair labour practice.  The maximum penalty for harassing an employee or failing to protect an employee from harassment in terms of the LRA would therefore be 24 months salary.

References

Employment Equity Reporting 2020

According to the Employment Equity Amendment Act 2013, a designated employer must submit a report to the Department of Labour once every year.

Please remember that a designated employer is defined as:

  1. an employer who employs 50 or more employees;
  2. an employer who employs fewer than 50 employees, but has a total annual turnover that is equal to or above the applicable annual turnover of a small business as defined in the table below:
Sector or Subsections in Accordance with The Standard Industrial ClassificationTotal Annual Turnover
AgricultureR 6 million
Mining and QuarryingR 22.50 million
ManufacturingR 30 million
Electricity Gas and WaterR 30 million
ConstructionR 15 million
Retail and Motor Trade and Repair ServicesR 45 million
Wholesale Trade, Commercial Agents and Allied ServicesR 75 Million
Catering Accommodation and other TradeR 15 million
Transport, Storage and CommunicationsR 30 million
Finance and Business ServicesR 30 million
Community, Social and Personal ServicesR 15 million

Failure to comply could result in a fine of between R 1 500 000.00 and R 2 700 000.00 or between 2% and 10% of turnover – whichever is greater.

In the event that you would require our assistance in the submission of the required reports and in order for Connold and Associates to accurately determine whether your company is classified as a designated employer, please can we request that you provide Tessa at our offices with:

  • The projected number of employees on your payroll as at 1 August 2020
  • The company’s current annual Turnover
  • Confirmation of Sector company is registered under

Employment Equity inspections – Employment Equity Plans

Employment Equity inspections are in progress by the Department of Labour and are specifically focusing on the implementation and validity of Employment Equity Plans.
 
The act requires companies to include in their Employment Equity plans, a strategy and time frame to implement and rectify under-representation of persons from designated groups.
 
The Department of Labour has indicated that EEA2 reports will not be received as legitimate submissions without proper consultation and communication strategies in place that inform all employees of the EE Act.
Companies that do NOT have Employment Equity plans in place may be fined for contravention of the act: The greater of R 1.500 000 or 2% or the employer’s turnover. In addition, companies that have falsely reported on Employment Equity plans or do NOT have such plans in place will be criminally prosecuted

Please contact Tessa Lourens at our office or using this form if you would like us to assist with the relevant submission of your EE report to the Department of Labour.

Employment Equity 2018 submissions

According to the Employment Equity Amendment Act 2013, a designated employer must submit a report to the Department of Labour once every year.

Please remember that a designated employer is defined as:

  1. an employer who employs 50 or more employees;
  2. an employer who employs fewer than 50 employees, but has a total annual turnover that is equal to or above the applicable annual turnover of a small
    business as defined in the table below:
Sector Or Subsections In Accordance With The Standard Industrial ClassificationTotal Annual Turnover
AgricultureR 6 million
Mining and QuarryingR 22.50 million
ManufacturingR 30 million
Electricity Gas and WaterR 30 million
ConstructionR 15 million
Retail and Motor Trade and Repair ServicesR 45 million
Wholesale Trade, Commercial Agents and Allied ServicesR 75 Million
Catering Accommodation and other TradeR 15 million
Transport, Storage and CommunicationsR 30 million
Finance and Business ServicesR 30 million
Community, Social and Personal ServicesR 15 million

Failure to comply could result in a fine of between R 1 500 000.00 and R 2 700 000.00 or between 2% and 10% of turnover – whichever is greater.

In the event that you would require our assistance in the submission of the required reports and in order for Connold and Associates to accurately determine whether your company is classified as a designated employer, please can we request that you provide Tessa at our offices with:

  • The projected number of employees on your payroll as at 1 August 2018.
  • The company’s current annual Turnover.
  • Confirmation of Sector company is registered under.

Please contact Tessa Lourens at our office using the contact sheet below, if you would like us to assist with the relevant submission of your EE report to the Department of Labour.

Employment Equity 2017 submissions

According to the Employment Equity Amendment Act 2013, a designated employer must submit a report to the Department of Labour once every year.

Please remember that a designated employer is defined as:

  1. an employer who employs 50 or more employees
  2. an employer who employs fewer than 50 employees, but has a total annual turnover that is equal to or above the applicable annual turnover of a small.

business as defined in the table below:

Sector Or Subsections In Accordance With The Standard Industrial Classification
Total Annual Turnover
AgricultureR 6 million
Mining and QuarryingR 22.50 million
ManufacturingR 30 million
Electricity Gas and Water R 30 million
Construction R 15 million
Retail and Motor Trade and Repair R 45 million
Wholesale Trade, Commercial Agents Services and Allied Services R 75 Million
Catering Accommodation and other Trade R 15 million
Transport, Storage and Communications R 30 million
Finance and Business Services R 30 million
Community, Social and Personal Services R 15 million

Failure to comply could result in a fine of between R 1 500 000.00 and R 2 700 000.00 or between 2% and 10% of turnover – whichever is greater.

In the event that you would require our assistance in the submission of the required reports and in order for Connold and Associates to accurately determine whether your company is classified as a designated employer, please can we request that you provide Tessa at our offices with:

  • The current number of employees on your payroll as at 1 August 2017
  • The company’s current annual Turnover
  • Confirmation of Sector company is registered under

Please contact Tessa Lourens at our office if you would like us to assist with the relevant submission of your EE report to the Department of Labour.