Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

1.1 The ability is demonstrated to take responsibility to develop and maintain human resource policy on employment equity.

ryanrori January 12, 2021

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The Human Resources Management (HRM) function includes a variety of activities, and key among them is deciding what staffing needs you have and whether to use independent contractors or hire employees to fill these needs, recruiting and training the best employees, ensuring they are high performers, dealing with performance issues, and ensuring your personnel and management practices conform to various regulations.

Activities also include managing your approach to employee benefits and compensation, employee records and personnel policies. Usually small businesses (for-profit or non-profit) have to carry out these activities themselves because they can’t yet afford part- or full-time help. However, they should always ensure that employees have and are aware of personnel policies which conform to current regulations. These policies are often in the form of employee manuals, which all employees have.

Note that some people distinguish a difference between HRM (a major management activity) and HRD (Human Resource Development, a profession). Those people might include HRM in HRD, explaining that HRD includes the broader range of activities to develop personnel inside of organisations, including, e.g., career development, training, organisation development, etc.

There is a long-standing argument about where HR-related functions should be organized into large organisations, e.g., “should HR be in the Organisation Development department or the other way around?”

The HRM function and HRD profession have undergone tremendous change over the past 20-30 years. Many years ago, large organisations looked to the “Personnel Department,” mostly to manage the paperwork around hiring and paying people. More recently, organisations consider the “HR Department” as playing a major role in staffing, training and helping to manage people so that people and the organisation are performing at maximum capability in a highly fulfilling manner.

Recently, the phrase “talent management” is being used to refer the activities to attract, develop and retain employees. Some people and organisations use the phrase to refer especially to talented and/or high-potential employees.

The phrase often is used interchangeably with the field of Human Resource Management although as the field of talent management matures, it’s very likely there will be an increasing number of people who will strongly disagree about the interchange of these fields.

As part of the HR function, the following policies and procedures must be implemented and adhered to in the organisations HR policies and procedures:

Policy on employment equity

In terms of Chapter 2 of the Employment Equity Act No 55 of 1998, which was promulgated on the 9 August 1999, an employer may not:

‘Discriminate against an employee or an applicant for employment, directly or indirectly on any arbitrary ground, including but not limited to ‘race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, family responsibility, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, HIV status, conscience, belief, political opinion, culture, language and birth’.

Every designated employer is required to design and implement an employment Equity plan. The purpose of the employment Equity plan is to enable the employer “to achieve reasonable progress towards employment Equity”, to assist in eliminating unfair discrimination in the workplace, and to achieve equitable representation of employees from designated groups by means of affirmative action measures. An employment Equity plan therefore must clearly set out the steps that the employer plans to follow to achieve these objectives. 

In order to assist employers, the Department of Labour published a Code of Good Practice on the Preparation, Implementation and Monitoring of Employment Equity Plans. Employment Equity and affirmative action applies to all designated employers and their employees, particularly those employees from designated groups.

Designated employers are employers who employee 50 or more employees, employers who employ less than 50 employees but whose annual turnover exceeds or equals the amounts in schedule 4 of the EEA, or an employer who has been declared a designated employer in terms of a collective agreement.