EMPLOYMENT EQUITY BILL - PUBLIC HEARING 21 JULY 1998
SUBMISSION BY BLACK MANAGEMENT FORUM
Black Management Forum - broadly supports the bill because we believe it provides the legislative framework to assist with the acceleration of advancing blacks, women and the disabled into the economic mainstream and the higher echelons of business, where today after more than four years of democracy they are still critically under represented.
RECRUITMENT AND TESTING
In addition the bill facilitates the movement towards fair recruitment and testing practices. An encouraging aspect is the fact that applicants for employment are also considered "employees" in sections 5, 6 and 7. BMF welcomes the inclusion regarding psychometric testing in addition to medical testing.
We also welcome the consideration of turnover in addition to the consideration of staff complement in determining the status of 'designated employer" This brings into the net many employers who otherwise would have fallen outside the scope of the act.
In particular we support the notion that potential is an important consideration to determine "suitable qualification". One should also remember that many employees are presently being underutilized in positions where they operate far below their skills level.
As far as punitive measures are concerned we do not only support such measures but in addition we believe it is lenient as far as the majority of employers are concerned and it is a mechanism to deal with non-compliance of certain duties of the employer. We would like to believe that in view of the broad support of the bill by for example, organised business we have a sign of hope that maximum compliance could be expected with regard to the duties of employers.
EMPLOYMENT EQUITY PLANS
BMF holds the view that numerical goals or as we prefer1 targets are a vital part of an employment equity plan and that independent benchmarks should be utilised in setting these targets
Our concerns centre very much around the importance and urgency that the purpose of the legislation must be achieved at all costs.
We reiterate the view that the county's demographics should used when defining demographics as opposed to the "economically active population".
CAPACITY - OFFICE OF D.G.
In this regard we share the concerns of others about the capacity of the office of the director general to handle the enormity of the task ahead. We are particularly curious about whether and how they are going to utilize external resources to assist with the process of monitoring.
CAPACITY - LABOUR INSPECTORATE
Another area of concern is the preparedness of the present labour inspectorate to deal with complaints in terms of the act and how sensitized the individuals are who have to deal with those complaints.
COMMISSION FOR EMPLOYMENT EQUITY
We still hope that the ministry will look beyond the present suggestion as to the composition of the Commission for Employment Equity to include organisations that have grappled in this area of struggle for a long time.
In conclusion we commend the ministry that this bill is finally on its way to become legislation. We believe it is one of the most important pieces of legislation that will ever be passed in our country.