DPSA Employment Equity Act Summary
DPSA Employment Equity Act – The DPSA was requested to provide an oral presentation on Workplace Discrimination and the levels of compliance with the Employment Equity Act and Codes of Good Practice by Government departments to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Labour on 12 September 2007.
There were several issues raised for clarity, especially regarding workplace discrimination.
Basis for Transformation within the Public Service
- White Paper on the Transformation of the Public Service (WPTPS), 1995:
–“Within four years all departmental establishments must endeavour to be at least 50% black at management level”
–“During the same period at least 30% of new recruits to the middle and senior management echelons should be women”
–“Within ten years, people with disabilities should comprise 2% of public service personnel”
- White Paper on Affirmative Action in the Public Service, 1998:
–Re-emphasises the meeting of targets as outlined in the WPTPS
–It also indicates that the WPTPS represents only a baseline, on which national and provincial administrations should aim to improve.
–It provides furthermore that “The Government will review and re-set the national minimum targets by the end of 2000 and every three years thereafter”.
- Employment Equity Act, 1998 (Act No 55 of 1998 ).
Implementing Employment Equity
- Implementing employment equity involves two key initiatives:
–Eliminating unfair discrimination in human resource policies and practices in the workplace; and
–Designing and implementing affirmative action measures to achieve equitable representation of designated groups in all occupational categories and levels in the workplace
Employment Equity Plan
- The plan reflects employment equity implementation programme of a designated employer.
- The plan represents the critical link between the current workforce profile and possible barriers in employment policies and procedures, and the implementation of remedial steps to ultimately result in employment equity in the workplace.
Constructing an Employment Equity Plan
- The process of developing a plan has three sequential phases:
–planning, which involves a communication, awareness and training programme, consultation with relevant stakeholders, an analysis of existing employment policies, procedures, and practices, an analysis of the existing workforce profile, etc.
–development, setting objectives, formulating corrective measures, establishing time frames, drawing up the plan, identifying resources and allocating such for the implementation of the plan, and communicating the plan.
–implementation and monitoring, this involves implementation of the plan itself, monitoring and evaluating progress, reviewing the plan, and reporting on progress .
Affirmative Action Measures
- Appointment of members from designated groups
- Increasing the pool of available candidates
- Training and development of people from designated groups
- Promotion, retention and reasonable accommodation for people from designated groups
- Appointments on merit and not tokenism
- Ensuring a transformed corporate culture that affirms diversity in the workplace and harnesses the potential of all employees.
Representation of PS Employees according to Race and Gender (Persal System)
% of Females per
% of Males per
total number of
total number of
Analysis of the Gender Stats
- Women represent 54,38% of the total workforce in the Public Service
- Black women comprise 87,81% of the women employees while white women comprise 12,19%.
- African Women make up 41,28% of the total number of employees in the Public Service, while African males make up 34.68%.
Representation of Gender in the Public Service Senior Management (SMS) (As At 31 March 2007, Persal System)
% of Females per
% of Males per
total number of
total number of
Analysis of Gender Representation in SMS positions in the Public Service
- There are currently 31,56% of women in Senior Management within the Public Service.
- The Public Service has met and exceeded the 2005 set target of 30% women in decision-making positions.
- Of the 31,56%, African women comprise 19,91% of Senior Management positions.
- African males comprise 37,79% of management positions, indicating that affirmative action has benefited African males more than African females.
- There are only 33 women of the total number of 124 persons appointed at salary level 16.
- Women are mainly concentrated in salary levels 13-14,which are the lower echelons of the SMS.
Representation of People with Disabilities in the Public Service (Persal System)
- The trends for the employment of people with disabilities within the Public Service indicates the following:
– March 2002
0,11% across all sectors
- There is a 0.06 percentage point increase from 2002 to 2007, indicating a slow pace of growth. The Public Service did not meet its set target by 2005. The reviewed target date for a 2% minimum representation has been extended to March 2009.
Review of Equity Targets
- The Public Service adopted the Cabinet approved target of 30% representation of women in SMS positions, in line with the SADC target of 30% women in political anddecision-making positions by 2005, which was the minimum target reflected in the WPTPS, 1995
- In 2005, Cabinet reviewed this target to 50% women in SMS positions in the Public Service by March 2009, in addition to supporting the development of a strategic framework for gender equality through the strategy of mainstreaming.
- In 2005, Cabinet also reviewed and retained the 2% minimum target for people with disabilities by 31 March 2010.
- Most of the overtly discriminatory employment practices in the Public Service workplace were eliminated by the enactment of the Constitution in 1996.
- This sought to eliminate deeply entrenched patterns of employment discrimination against persons because of their race, religion, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, or disability.
- However, discriminatory practices have become more subtle and more difficult to identify and correct.
- There are pockets of discriminatory practices that continue to occur within the workplace which impact negatively on women and persons with disabilities.
- Attitudinal stereotyping and insensitivity towards needs of targeted groups still occur within the Public Service workplace.
- Lack of or no reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities, resulting in their being discriminated against in terms of employment and recruitment.
- The physical barriers that pose a challenge for people with disabilities in accessing the workplace are also considered discriminatory practices.
- The PSC audit report indicates that sexual harassment persists in the workplace and that it affect both men and women.
- The audit also indicates a lack of compliance by many departments in terms of institutionalising a workplace policy and handling of sexual harassment cases.
- The audit also highlights that there is a general lack of sensitivity to the practical needs of women in terms of lack of departmental friendly policies that affect work-life balance.
- Most departments do not have EE plans, therefore no AA plans
- Only a few departments submit their reports to the Department of Labour
- The quality of reports submitted to the Department of Labour by some departments are inadequate and sub-standard
- Most departments do not have EE forums for consultations with employees as required by the Act.
- No interventions are put in place to redress the imbalances of the past.
“Creating a non- sexist, non-racist and transformed Public Service workplace”
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