An employment equity training programme truly is a cost worth bearing for all businesses in South Africa. Let us take a look at why.
Firstly, there is the law to consider. The employment equity act was drawn up to give a voice to those who have been side-lined for too long. Employment equity training will allow a business to learn the tools which will give them an opportunity to help these individuals through learnership programmes to setting up a safer environment alleviating discrimination.
Second, there is BEE to consider. Employment equity makes up one of the factors that leads to a company’s total score on the BEE license. The higher the score, the better the benefits that the company will enjoy. The bonus to making up one of the factors is that it is here that a major portion of points can be scored. With this in particular, employment equity training leads to getting a higher score.
Third, there is diversity in the workplace to consider. Employment equity training is about how to get a diverse work environment. It may be the law, but studies have shown that having a big mix of people leads to increased productivity and creativity. It is not expected for companies to go out and just hire people of the street to meet the criteria set upon in the employment equity act. A plan is sufficient for the short term. This will outline your objectives in meeting this criteria and then send it through to the EE board for an audit. This is great news for those businesses who have gotten a late start. Contacting an employment equity training agency will be a godsend in this case. They will help spearhead the campaign to become employment equity compliant and put forth the proposal. The company now has time to get this in order and not get stuck with a huge fine which is discussed below.
Fourth, there is the issue of discrimination. As much as diversity is a positive thing in the workplace, discrimination is likely to rear its ugly head. To combat this, the employment equity training programme is designed to keep committee members educated on the most likely scenarios and how to avoid it. If the worst happens and an issue arises, the committee members will have the tools to solve the problem professionally.
Fifth, there is the financial implications. Sure, at first it will cost the company a few bucks to send the committee members to the employment equity training course. This money can be reimbursed through tax rebates. The course leader will outline specifically how this can be done. To gain an inside look at the company and to offer customized plans for employment equity, the company can even bring in the training to be done at their base. The practical aspects of this are boundless. The committee will now have direct access to lay out their concerns and plan to bring in employment equity holistically into the company. Not complying with the law in this regard will result in hefty penalties for the company. This cost is as much as 10 percent of the company’s turnover for the year.