Tackling employment equity in the workplace with no clear understanding of it can be a bad move. In South Africa, it could be catastrophe for a business. This is because the Employment Equity Act has come into effect, making it illegal to not comply with the wishes of the government in balancing the gap left behind by the apartheid era. The onus should fall on a select few who will lead the charge in implementing these principles into the business. They should be made up of supervisors, managers, directors or human resource management personnel. Attending an employment equity training programme will give them the head start that they need. Besides the theoretical knowledge that they will leave with, the practical lessons learned will prove a lifeboat for companies, in meeting with the guidelines set about from the government. Employment equity training courses can be attended anywhere in the country. A company even has the option of bringing in the training programme to be done in house.
It should be noted that the employment equity training programme should be attended once a year. This is just so that the committee can then keep up with any changes in the law. The programme is set for 2 days. For those who have attended previously, the first day is not necessary. This is where the basic outcomes of the law is discussed. The second day is when changes and implications are discussed. This is the important one, as not adhering to these changes can result in a pricey fine for a company. A strategy will have to be planned to ensure a smooth transition into implementing employment equity into the workplace. During the employment equity training course, members will have an opportunity to have their roles within the company clearly assigned. It is an important task that if not done properly could cause the company financially.
This is because is it now deemed breaking the law to not have an equal workforce. This means an inclusion of black, disabled, female and gay people. Another function of the committee that is discussed within the employment equity training course is how to manage the specific concerns of this group. Historically, it is with these individuals where discrimination is most seen. The committee must be educated on how to handle conflict or even better, to set about practices to ensure that it is never a problem. It is important to note that having a diverse work place environment should not be seen as a disadvantage or been forced to hire people to meet a quota. Having a diverse workplace leads to added creativity and productivity. The committee will take away guidelines from employment equity training that will serve the company well down the road. This is in especial regard to BEE. Employment equity is one of the seven factors that determines a company’s final score. There will be confidence in knowing that you would score high on this one factor if your employment equity audit comes through approved.