Every year, designated employers in South Africa are obligated to submit an employment equity report in accordance with Section 21 of the Employment Equity Act, 55 of 1998 (EEA). If a designated employer is unable to submit a manual employment equity report by the deadline date of the first working day of October, it must notify the Director-General. This notification must be in writing before the last working day of August of the same year and the designated employer must provide reasons for its inability to submit its report. This year, the last working day of August falls on Friday, 31 August 2018. Failure to notify the Director-General of the inability to submit a report by this date may result in a hefty fine. Alternatively, designated employees can submit their reports online by the extended deadline of 15 January each year.
According to Schedule 4 of the EEA, a designated employer is an employer who employs 50 or more employees, or an employer who employers fewer than 50 employees, but has a total annual turnover that is equal to or above the annual turnover threshold specific to the relevant sector.
In terms of section 20 of the EEA, a designated employer must prepare and implement an employment equity plan which will achieve reasonable progress towards employment equity in the employer's workforce.
The Director-General may apply to the Labour Court to impose a fine if an employer:
- fails to submit an employment equity report;
- fails to notify the Director-General in writing that it will not be able to submit its report timeously and providing reasons for the same; or
- has informed the Director-General in writing that it is not able to submit its report timeously, however, the reasons provided are false or invalid.
The Labour Court may impose a fine ranging from the greater of ZAR 1,500,000 or 2% of the employer's turnover to ZAR 2,700,000 or 10% of the employer's turnover.
If you concerned that your business will miss the deadline for manual submission of its employment equity report, you must now either:
- write to the Director-General with valid reasons for your inability to submit the report manually, or
- register online in order to take advantage of the 15 January deadline.