Judg­ment will in­flu­ence SA em­ploy­ment eq­uity

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

IN A GROUND­BREAK­ING, far­reach­ing judg­ment, Jus­tice Bess Nk­abinde or­dered the de­ci­sions of the Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices not to ap­point in­di­vid­ual ap­pli­cants to posts con­sti­tuted un­fair dis­crim­i­na­tion and un­fair labour prac­tice.

The Con­sti­tu­tional Court judges said the seven coloured em­ploy­ees of the Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices were to be ap­pointed to the va­cant posts and paid the re­mu­ner­a­tion and ben­e­fits of these posts.

This judg­ment is in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant for em­ploy­ment eq­uity struc­tur­ing for all gov­ern­ment de­part­ments.

Like­wise the pri­vate sec­tor needs to take heed.

In essence the court said em­ploy­ment eq­uity plans must take into ac­count both re­gional and na­tional de­mo­graphic fig­ures.

In other words, in the Cape you would ex­pect to see more coloured work­ers be­ing ap­pointed and in Natal more In­dian work­ers.

The drafters of the leg­is­la­tion clearly in­tended re­gional de­mo­graph­ics to be taken into ac­count.

The courts have now cat­e­gor­i­cally found em­ploy­ment eq­uity plans which don’t take into ac­count re­gional de­mo­graph­ics are un­fair. As em­ploy­ment eq­uity leg­is­la­tion is so­cial en­gi­neer­ing it needs to be very care­fully as­sessed and im­ple­mented with­out cre­at­ing fur­ther hard­ship and fur­ther dis­crim­i­na­tion.

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