Every year, designated employers in South Africa are obligated to submit an employment equity report reporting in accordance with Section 21 of the Employment Equity Act, 55 of 1998 (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 employment equity report is a reflection of the designated employer’s progress in achieving its goals and targets.
We have seen over the course of this last year, a significant increase in the Department of Labour’s efforts to police non-compliance with employment equity obligations and employers should expect increased efforts in this regard in 2019. Where an employer fails to file its employment equity report, the Director-General may apply directly to the Labour Court to impose a fine ranging from the greater of ZAR 1 500 000.00 or 2% of the employer's turnover to ZAR 2 700 000.00 or 10% of the employer's turnover, depending on the frequency of the offence.
The online deadline for submission of employment equity reports is 15 January, next week Tuesday. With a few days to go, employers are urged not to wait until the last minute as the system is often overwhelmed by last minute submissions, rendering it near impossible at times to complete or submit the online report. Don’t delay or you might pay!