Employment equity an unfair discrimination
The Employment Equity Act, 55 of 1998, deals with equity and equality rights which are protected in our Constitution.
The EEA mirrors the Constitution and determines that no person may unfairly discriminate, directly or indirectly, against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth. Discrimination on one or more of these grounds is unfair, unless it is established that the discrimination is fair. The EEA recognises that, as a result of apartheid and other discriminatory laws and practices, there are disparities in employment, occupation and income, within the national labour market. It further recognises that those disparities created pronounced disadvantages for certain categories of people and that those disadvantages cannot be redressed simply by repealing discriminatory laws. Therefore, the EEA aims at promoting the constitutional right of equality by eliminating unfair discrimination and ensuring the implementation of employment equity to redress the effect of discrimination by legislating Affirmative action as a measure of fair discrimination. The aim is to achieve a diverse workforce broadly representative of our people, which in turn will promote economic development and efficiency in the workplace and give effect to the obligations of the Republic as a member of the International Labour Organisation. Employers must therefore seek and eliminate unfair discrimination and implement affirmative action measures that are consistent with the EEA. In order to achieve this, employers must embark on an analysis and consultation process through employment equity forums, which must result in employment equity plans. Employers must report to the department of Labour once a year on every two years on its progress in implementation Affirmative Action.
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