The Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998 as amended (EEA) requires designated employers to provide certain reports to the Department of Labour (DoL). Generally, designated employers are required to provide these reports to the DoL once a year.
Section 27 of the EEA deals with income differentials and employers must submit a report on "remuneration and benefits received in each occupational category and level of that employers workforce". This report must be completed in the format outlined in the EEA4 form (under the regulations to the EEA). The report is known as the Income Differential Statement. A recent amendment to these regulations has changed the
EEA4 form. The form is now divided into 6 main sections:
The main objective of the EEA4 form is to collect information from the employer to assess the remuneration gap between the highest paid and lowest paid employees. This exercise also enables an assessment into inequalities in remuneration in terms of race and gender at the different occupational levels. All employees (including temporary employees and foreign national employees) must be included in the form. In addition, information on the highest and lowest total remuneration for each occupational level (by race and gender) must also be included.
With more information reported, the DoL will be in a better position to monitor whether employers are upholding the principle of equal pay for work of equal value. Those employers who are not doing so must be able to justify differential treatment. An employee who feels that he or she is being discriminated against in terms of remuneration can pursue a dispute (under section 10 of the EEA). Such an employee will be able to use the information contained in the EEA4 as evidence of the discrimination. The employer in such a dispute will need to justify that such discrimination is fair and rational by using the criteria listed in the regulations (specifically regulations 6 and 7) to the EEA. Differentiation in remuneration of employees may be justifiable depending on factors such as length of service and qualifications of those employees.
The DoL is currently hosting Employment Equity roadshows across the country to share the latest information on employment equity ultimately to assist employers in submitting the required reports to the DoL.