Designated employers have a duty to consult employees in term of Section 16 and 17 of the Employment Equity Act, and they must take reasonable steps to consult. Effective consultation requires nomination of employees across all occupational levels, designated groups, non-designated groups and a shop steward representative where the workplace is unionised.

Designated employers with no equitable demographic representation must consult by assigning other members to represent the interest of the under-represented constituencies until such time that missing constituency representative is employed. For example, if no persons with disabilities are employed in the workforce of the designated employer another employee may be assigned to represent the interests of persons with disabilities during consultation. This must be identified as a part of barrier analysis process and corrective measures to recruit persons with disabilities must be recommended.

Duty to inform is regulated in terms of section 25 of the Employment Equity Act. It is good practice for a designated employer to display its employment equity plan, report and summary of the EEA. If the employer’s workplace facility is not conducive to display its employment equity plan and report, then the employer has a duty to advise its employees on how and where to access such a plan.

Section 25 of the Act which reads as follows: –

  1. Duty to inform

(1)          An employer must display at the workplace where it can be read by employees a notice in the prescribed form, informing them about the provisions of this Act.

(2)          A designated employer must, in each of its workplaces, place in prominent places that are accessible to all employees-

(a)           the most recent report submitted by that employer to the Director-General;

(b)          any compliance order, arbitration award of order of the Labour Court concerning the provisions of this Act in relation to that employer; and

(c)           any other document concerning this Act as may be prescribed.

(3)          An employer who has an employment equity plan must make a copy of the plan available to its employees for copying and consultation.

Employers who fail to consult and communicate with employees on EEA, plans and reports may be found non-compliant. At GBS our experienced team of consultants have assisted numerous organisations with Employment Equity rollouts, starting with the appointment of an EE Manager and awareness sessions for staff and working through all the necessary steps towards compliance as illustrated in the diagram below.

Please contact me if you have any questions related to the duty to inform and consult with employees, or any other EEA related matter.