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72 JSE-listed firms flagged for employment equity inspections

Aug 10 2017 13:00
Liesl Peyper

Cape Town – Altogether 72 JSE-listed companies are being inspected for employment equity compliance, the Department of Labour said in a statement.

The initiative, undertaken by the Department’s Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES) branch, started with the inspections in July that will continue until December 2017.

The inspection process entails “interrogating” companies’ employment equity plans to see if they comply with legislation.

According to Department of Labour’s chief director of statutory and advocacy services Fikiswa Mncanca the programme started with a review of the JSE Securities Exchange, which the department found it was wanting when it comes to employment equity implementation.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said in May this year when the Employment Equity report was released that there was a general lack of appetite among corporates for transformation.

READ: Little has changed on employment equity front - report 

“It is very concerning that there are just too many JSE listed companies that are completely ignoring (employment equity law),” she said at the time, adding that 21 JSE-listed companies had been fined for non-compliance, while "several others" would follow. 

According to the Minister, JSE-listed companies alone accounted for more than 50% of the companies that have been issued fines for non-compliance. 

The Department of Labour's inspections are specifically focusing on the existence and implementation of employment equity plans. The Employment Equity Act requires companies among other things to state in their employment equity plans a timetable and strategies they intend to implement to rectify underrepresentation of people from designated groups.

Teboho Thejane, Department of Labour spokesperson, said the 72 companies that will be inspected will have 60 days to comply with the Department's recommendations and get their employment equity plans up to date. 

While the employment equity inspections are in progress, the Department of Labour is also busy with employment equity workshops across the country.

Companies that do not have employment equity plans in place, will be subjected to a fine of R1.5m, while those failing to report on their employment equity plans will also be subjected to a penalty of R1.5m.

In addition, companies that have falsely reported on employment equity plans while not having such plans in place, will be criminally prosecuted. 

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department of labour  |  jse  |  employment equity

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