Skills Development & Employment Equity

The purpose of the Skills Development Act is to develop, enhance, and improve the skills of people in the workplace. This is achieved by introducing leadership and occupationally directed qualifications. This Act aims to develop a learning, and continuously evolving culture, in all organisations.

Training of employees comes in two forms:

  1. The first is registered or accredited training, where employers send their employees for training with accredited service providers on various modules, such as first aid training, fire fighting, or forklift training. Such service providers certify that the particular employee has completed the course successfully.
  2. The second form of training is in-house training, meaning an employee will be trained on job-related issues by a supervisor or a senior with knowledge of the subject.

Employers must ensure that all training done between the 1st of April and the 31st of March each year is recorded for the ATR (Annual Training Report). In the case of in-house training, the employer must keep an attendance register reflecting the employee’s signature as well as the identity of the trainer and the nature of the training received.

When in-house training is done by the employer, the employer must calculate the amount in Rand spent on such training by calculating the aggregate of the trainer’s hourly salary and the employee’s hourly salary which will represent the hourly cost of the training received.

In the case of accredited training at service providers, employers must retain all certificates obtained by the employee as well as the invoice rendered by the service provider for services rendered in respect of that trainee or group of trainees. This information must be kept if the SETA asks for proof of training.

Note that not all SETA’s ask for proof of training immediately.

If the WSP (Workplace Skills Plan) & ATR is not done before the end of June 2013, Employers will lose their right to claim back grants received by the relevant SETA. In addition, a company’s B-BBEE status can be impacted if Skills Development is set as one of its verification criteria.

The Skills Development Levy Act (SDLA), accompanying the SDA, introduced a levy payment system by which employers fund skills development. Any employer with an annual payroll of R500 000 or more is obligated to pay 1% of the payroll as a Skills Development Levy. The levy is paid to SARS, who then distributes the payment to the National Skills Fund (NSF) who, in turn, pays the money to the various Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETA’s).

Employers who pay their Skills Levy are entitled to claim back 50% of their 1% Skills Levy paid. The payment is in the form of a Mandatory Grant and an employer needs to do the following to qualify for this grant:

Employment Equity | EE

Employment Equity measures the percentage of BEE members employed in the business. The purpose of the employment Equity Act no: 55 of 1998 is to protect workers and job seekers from unfair discrimination. It also provides a framework for implementing affirmative action.

No unfair discrimination may take place against any employee regarding 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.

The Employment Equity Act applies to all employers, workers, and job applicants, but not members of the:

  • National Defence Force.
  • National Intelligence Agency.
  • South African Secret Service.

Every employer needs to design and implement an Employment Equity Plan. The Employment Equity plan will assist the employer to achieve the requirements of the Employment Equity Act successfully, thus, eliminating unfair discrimination in the workplace, and ensuring the presentation of employees from designated groups using affirmative action measures.

The Employment Equity plan must clearly explain the steps that the employer plans to follow to achieve these objectives. The Department of Labour published a Code of Good Practice on the Preparation, Implementation, and Monitoring of Employment Equity Plans to assist employers to achieve all necessary objectives.

The Department of Labour also published a user guide to the Employment Equity Act, highlighting 10 steps to preparing and implementing an Employment Equity Plan. Every employer should have these two documents.

The act allows employers to modify the plan to adapt to their needs. Both Employment Equity and Affirmative Action apply to all designated employers and their employees, particularly those employees from designated groups.

Designated employers, refers to the employment of 50 or more employees.  However, employer’s 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 also should comply.

Contact us for more assistance on Employment Equity or Drafting an Employment Equity Plan.