In a bid to help employers with this burning issue, the South African United Employers Organisation (SA)UEO has entered into a collaboration with a leading company who has developed ground-breaking software that enables seamless alignment with the national employment equity (EE) requirements.
This software, which is already effectively in use by best-of-breed institutions, is constantly updated with the latest regulations and sector targets, to help ensure compliance at all times, whilst substantially reducing the time and resources that are typically required for these processes.
In practise, the software will thus help employers comply with the current EE legislation, and easily realign with the stipulations of the new Employment Equity Amendment Bill, as soon as it is promulgated. Whilst the amended bill will provide relief for small businesses, bigger businesses will be under greater pressure to comply, and a compliance certificate will be required for contracting with the state.
In this piece, we briefly look at the potential implications of the new Employment Equity Bill, plus we explain some of the key features of the EE software that is now available via the (SA)UEO.
Who is affected?
Compliance will be less onerous for small businesses, with employers no longer required to have an employment equity plan, or submit reports, and so on.
The proposed definition of a designated employer under the current Act will be amended by the deletion of the following: “… 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 in terms of the Schedule 4 of this Act”.
This recognises the high regulatory burden the existing Act places upon smaller businesses, which often experience difficulty achieving compliance owing to lack of resources.
Section 14 of the Act, which deals with voluntary compliance, will also be repealed.
Bigger businesses are better equipped to deal with the regulatory burden effectively, as they have the capacity to assign more staff to managing compliance.
Designated employers identified by the Minister will be required to provide an EE plan that aligns with designated targets and contains a specific timeline for achievement of such compliance. It is expected to come under more intense scrutiny by Government, which is gearing up to conduct more inspections more frequently. An EE compliance certificate will also be a prerequisite for tendering for any government projects.
How can employers ease the burden?
Recognising the principal source of frustration
Any system is only as good as the process which support it. Any form of deviation from the prescribed standards or inputs relating to the system introduces an increasingly unknown and unbalanced set of variables which demand more time and resources to compensate for. Disorganised and inconsistent spreadsheets, shelves filled with binders, and a modicum of human error can make compliance virtually impossible to manage.
Shifting to digital innovation
Fortunately such old-school methods can now be replaced by compliance management software. A central, user-friendly platform where evidence is captured and organised in real-time makes EE audits that much simpler. The system is hard-coded into the application, so there can be no deviations and almost no human error. It can have the kind of impact where it becomes difficult to imagine ever having managed without it.
Introducing EE Manager
The (SA)UEO has procured numerous licences to provide our members with affordable access to this pioneering EE management software. It is a cloud-based application where all relevant data and evidence can be uploaded and managed, using a computer, laptop, or mobile device. It streamlines workflows and replaces traditional paper-based systems.
With the “EE Manager,” you can upload your notes, pictures, documentation, and relevant media in real-time, whether you are onsite or in the office. When it comes to an audit or inspection, your Employment Equity Committee can reliably access all that content for inspectors or auditors from the cloud.
Features of EE Manager:
- Employment Equity Act (EEA) compliance
Meets both Department of Labour and internal compliance requirements and is aligned with best practices for record keeping.
- POPIA compliant
System data is encrypted and fully POPIA compliant.
- Management reporting
Full management reporting for monitoring and evaluation.
- Automated DOL EEA forms and reports generator
Fully populated and editable EEA forms and reports including fixed, guaranteed and variable remuneration and GAPS.
- Project manager
Plan, track and report all EE tasks.
- Workforce planning
Set numerical goals and targets.
- Meeting manager
Manage, schedule and minute EE committee meetings with action items via MS Outlook.
- Secure document storage
POPIA compliant with multi-layered encryption for data and users.
- A dedicated project manager to ensure the successful implementation and integration of the software with any of your own systems.
- A dedicated development team to make sure the system is always up-to-date with new amendments and the necessary cyber security is in place with extensive protocols.
- A dedicated support team to answer all questions and assist with troubleshooting, as and when required.
With the changing demands of the new amendments to the EEA and increased scrutiny from government, it has never been more important to develop and implement an EE plan to achieve compliance.
It has also never been easier to manage that compliance, with the new (SA)UEO dedicated EE Manager digital toolset. A major benefit of this software, is that you can also easily and economically plug in additional functions to ensure compliance in other critical arenas of your business as well, such as workplace skills development, BBBEE supplier management and enterprise vendor management.
If you are interested in purchasing a licence, or to adopt the platform into your own business, please contact our General Secretary at email@example.com to arrange for a demonstration.