Amendments to section 6 of the Employment Equity Act outlines the requirements for enabling Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value, and where Equal Work defined as “employees of the same employer doing work of the same or substantially the same value”

Important to note is the fact that in order to be considered “equal” the work does not have to be identical or even interchangeable, but only that it be sufficiently similar to be reasonably considered the same. In effect, this means that organisations need to take care in defining “work” within their environment in order to guide this comparison.

Defining Work

Work is the prerogative of the employer who should determine what it requires from its employees in regards to their output. Whilst there will of course be certain commonalities between individuals performing a function such as “Accountant” in different organisations, there can also be nuances specific to the unique operational requirements of an organisation.

The EEA Regulations do mention a number of criteria, such as responsibility, working conditions, skills and qualifications and effort required, that should be considered in the assessment of work, and this should be the basis upon which work, broken down into a job/role/function, should be defined.

Many organisations have job descriptions in place that assist in defining the tasks that they expect the incumbent employee to complete, however traditional job descriptions do not necessarily contain sufficient information to assist in determining the value of the work for the purposes of comparison under equal pay provisions. Rather, a detailed job (work) profile should be created that contains all relevant information, aligned to the Occupational Level framework, that clearly outlines the scope of the work, the level of skill required and the impact that position would have on the business overall.

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