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Employment and Labour holds stakeholder engagement session in Midrand

23 Nov 2022

There are factors that justify differentiation in terms and conditions of employment  - Department of Employment and Labour

The Department of Employment and Labour’s Employment Equity Director, Ntsoaki Mamashela told the stakeholder engagement session held in Midrand today, that there are factors that justify differentiation in terms and conditions of employment.

Mamashela said: “If employees perform work that is of equal value, a difference in terms and conditions of employment, including remuneration, is not unfair discrimination, if the difference is fair and rational.”

She mentioned several grounds that may justify such differentiation of terms and conditions of employment amongst them: the individuals’ respective seniority or length of service; qualifications, ability, competence or potential above the minimum acceptable levels required for the performance of the job; performance, quantity or quality of work, provided that employees are equally subject to the employer’s performance evaluation system, that the performance evaluation system is consistently applied and situations where an employee is demoted as a result of organisational restructuring or for any other legitimate reason without a reduction in pay and existence of a shortage of relevant skill or the market value in a particular job classification.

Mamashela reminded the attendees of the objectives of the 2015 Code of Good Practice.

“The objectives of the Code of Good Practice are to provide practical guidance to employers and employees on how to implement the ‘Equal Pay/ Remuneration for Work of Equal Value’ principle; promote the implementation of the pay equity principle in the workplace through human resource policies and practices, and job evaluation processes; and encourages employers to manage their pay equity policies and practices, and the consultation processes within a sound governance framework that will ensure the implementation of pay equity is fair, free from unfair discrimination and is consistently applied,” she concluded.

According to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration’s (CCMA) Senior Commissioner Laurie Warwick, in terms of section 10 of the Employment Equity Act, the CCMA has jurisdiction to conciliate disputes referred to it and for arbitration the condition is that the employee does not earn above the Basic Conditions of Employment Act threshold which is currently at R224 080.48 and if the employee earns above the threshold, all the parties to the dispute must consent to the arbitration.

Warwick told the engagement session that from their observations, there is lack of preparations, information or evidence; disputes are based on speculation or suspicion; employees not understanding fair pay differentiation; lack of company information on pay grades and job evaluations, lack of understanding of pay grade system and employers using Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) as an excuse not to share information.

After discussions, the engagement session concluded that there is a need for capacity building for stakeholders, there must be increased enforcement and training for Employment and Labour inspectors as well as stakeholders, there must be continued engagement between stakeholders, amendment of the EE regulations and Code of practice on the grading of the salaries, employers to adopt and adapt to legislation changes and amendment to section 16 of the LRA on access to information.

For more information, contact:
Teboho Thejane
Departmental Spokesperson
Cell: 082 697 0694
E-mail: Teboho.Thejane@labour.gov.za

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