Steps to develop an employment equity plan:
1 Setup project team
A good employment equity plan cannot be drafted by one individual. The plan commits time, budget and behavior changes from many stakeholders in the company. Without their participation and buy-in, the plan will remain a compliance document with no impact on transformation.
As a minimum, the planning process must involve some Top Management representative(s) with a strong mandate to develop and implement an employment equity plan. The Assigned Senior Manager for employment equity should lead the process. Human Resources specialists should be included in the project team on the basis of the findings of the barrier analysis, since they control relevant budgets and are the custodians of policies and procedures. Line managers who make recruitment, promotion, termination or training allocation decisions should be included in the project team to ensure that the affirmative action measures are realistic and implementable.
The following project team is recommended:
2 Identify employment equity barriers
The project team should convene a workshop with sufficient time to review the barrier analysis report. If possible and time allows, this workshop could also deal with affirmative action measures. The barrier analysis will contain a root cause (policy, procedure or practice) for each identified barrier in the report.
The project team will include members with direct knowledge, experience or insight into the matters raised by the barrier analysis. They will discuss the merits of the analysis and finalise the formulation of each employment equity barrier in the context of the root cause. At this stage barriers may also be consolidated into one issue, or split up if there are more than one root causes.
The project team will also review the findings of the workforce profile analysis and make sure that all the reasons for the under-representation of designated employees have been included in the identified employment equity barriers. The outcome of this workshop is a complete set of employment equity barriers, formulated in the context of the root cause analysis, with consensus from all stakeholders represented on the project team.
3 Formulate AA measures
A workshop should be convened by the project team to formulate affirmative action measures. It is important that all stakeholders who have an interest in each of the employment equity barriers be involved in the process. For instance, if one of the employment equity barriers refers to the company’s remuneration policy, then the affirmative action measure workshop should include the company’s remuneration manager. If is it not possible to involve all specialists who have an interest in the employment equity barriers, the employment equity manager should consult with them before the workshop to obtain their feedback and input into the planning process.
In the barrier analysis report there will already be proposed affirmative action measures. The project team will discuss the merits of each proposal before formulating affirmative action measures to be included in the employment equity plan. The responsibility for the implementation of each affirmative action measure must be included in the plan. This person should ideally be present at the workshop and agree to take on the responsibility for implementation. The time frame for implementation, budget and other resources required should also be discussed as part of the formulation process.
As far as possible, existing affirmative action measures should be documented and incorporated into the new employment equity plan. Examples include existing bursary schemes, learnerships and fast track management development programmes for designated employees. The outcome of this workshop is a complete set of affirmative action measures, in the format provided by Form EEA 13, which will be implemented by the company.