The nature, consequences and practical implementation of regulating equity in the workplace

Schwellnus, Teresa (2000-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Growth, Employment and Redistribution strategy (GEAR) has not been successful in bringing about growth in the South African economy as planned. The biggest failure of GEAR has however been the fact that employment levels have continued to drop since its implementation. Unemployment levels, as well as the scales and levels of employment are furthermore still dramatically skewed in favour of the previously advantaged, namely white men. That group, is however, still the most highly skilled in our economy. AIDS may furthermore have a dramatic impact on the labour force in South Africa. Studies show that the reduction of inequality in society is a way of promoting economic growth. The upgrading of skills, improving access to jobs, occupations, training and promotion opportunities advance all members of the workforce and makes it possible for them to achieve maximum productivity and efficiency. On a wider scale, the elimination of discrimination raises economic efficiency throughout the economy by ensuring a more rational allocation of labour resources. By increasing the pool of skilled and qualified employees and improving labour market mobility, economic efficiency is enhanced. Given this, it seems that a move to employment equity is the only manner in which the ailing South African economy can be addressed. The legislative framework to serve as the foundation for equity in the workplace is complete. Through the application of the Labour Relations Act (No 66 of 1995) (LRA) and the Basic Conditions Employment Act (BCEA) equitable collective bargaining processes and equitable treatment of employees can be obtained. The Employment Equity Act (No 55 of 1998) not only prohibits discrimination, but actually set up a framework within which affirmative action can take place. The process of transforming the profile of the labour force will, however, not be complete (or successful) if it is not accompanied by a programme to change the skills structure within South Africa. The Skills Development Act (No 97 of 1998) aims to distribute the necessary skills to previously disadvantaged groups in order to empower them to hold jobs at higher levels. If used correctly, this legislative framework will not only transform South African workplaces, but will also bring about much needed societal change. The transformation process at UPE, resulting in the Employment Equity Plan as well as the Policy on the Promotion of Equality, Diversity and Elimination of Unfair Discrimination has been transparent and inclusive in nature. The process and the resulting documents can serve as basis for other tertiary institutions to bring about the required change. Given the solid research and consultation that went into formulating the plan and policy, it is to be hoped that this plan will be consistently implemented and the success constantly monitored.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: GEAR was nie so suksesvol as wat verwag is om groter groei vir die Suid- Afrikaanse ekonomie mee te bring nie. Die grootste mislukking van GEAR was egter die feit dat werkloosheid steeds toeneem. Werkloosheidvlakke, sowel as die verdiensteskale en die vlakke van diensverrigting in Suid-Afrika is verder ook dramaties oneweredig ten gunste van blanke mans. Hierdie groep is egter steeds die groep met die beste vaardighede in Suid-Afrika. Vigs mag ook nog verder 'n dramatiese impak op die Suid-Afrikaanse arbeidsmag hê. Navorsing vertoon dat die vermindering van ongelykheid binne die gemeenskap ekonomiese groei kan meebring. Dit is omdat beter opleiding en verbeterde toegang tot werksgeleenthede, opleiding en bevordering al die werknemers begunstig en sodoende dit moontlik maak vir hulle om met maksimale produktiwiteit en effektiwiteit hulle dagtaak te verrig. Op 'n breër vlak kan die verwydering van diskriminasie tot verbeterde ekonomiese effektiwiteit in die ekonomie deur 'n meer rasionele verdeling van arbeidsvaardighede lei. Indien 'n groter groep kundiges geskep word kan die ganse ekonomiese groei verbeter word. Om hierdie rede is billike arbeidspraktyke die enigste manier waarop die kwynende Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie herstel kan word. Die wetgewende raamwerk waarbinne billikheid in die arbeidsmag gereguleer word, is voltooi. Deur die toepassing van beide, die Wet op Arbeidsverhoudinge (Nr 66 van 1965) en die Wet op Basiese Diensvoorwaardes (Nr 55 van 1998) word billike kollektiewe bedinging en billike hantering van werknemers by die werkplek verseker. Die Wet met betrekking tot Billikheid ten opsigte van Indiensneming verbied nie net diskriminasie nie, maar stel 'n raamwerk daar waarbinne regstellende aksie kan geskied. Die proses van transformasie van die arbeidsmag sal egter nie volledig (of suksesvol) kan wees indien dit nie gepaard gaan met 'n program waardeur die vaardigheidstruktuur in Suid-Afrika verander word nie. Die Vaardighede Ontwikkelingswet (Nr 97 van 1998) poog om die nodige vaardighede aan voorheen agtergeblewe groepe te versprei om hulle sodoende te bemagtig om arbeid op 'n hoër vlak te kan verrig. Indien hierdie wetgewende raamwerk goed gebruik word sal dit nie net organisasies verander nie, maar lei tot 'n verandering binne die breë gemeenskap. Die proses van transformasie by UPE wat gelei het tot die daarstelling van 'n Plan vir Billike Indiensneming sowel as 'n Beleid vir die Bevordering van Gelykheid en Diversifikasie en die Verwydering van Onbillike Diskriminasie was deursigtig en inklusief van aard. Die proses en die beleid kan as basis dien vir ander tersiêre instellings om die nodige verandering mee te bring. Gegewe die navorsing en konsultasie waarmee die daarstelling van die plan en beleidsdokument gepaard gegaan het, sal die plan hopelik konsekwent toegepas en die sukses daarvan deurlopend geëvalueer word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51999
This item appears in the following collections: