All designated employers who employ 50 or more employees or whose turnover value exceeds the annual thresholds must submit Employment Equity reports this year.

Employers may deliver printed reports to their nearestLabour Centre before 01 October 2013. Manual submissions may not be emailed, faxed or sent via regular post.

Employers who choose to submit electronically will not only enjoy the convenience of capturing and submitting the EEA2 and EEA4 forms online but they will also have until 15 January 2014 to make sure their Employment Equity reports for 2013 are submitted.

The purpose of the Employemnet Equity Act is to Advance Economic Development, Social Justice, maintain peace and the democratisation of the workplace by fulfiling the primary objectives which are promoting equal opportunity and fair treatment in employment through the elimination of unfair discrimination. In addition the Employment Equity Act is  implementing affirmative action measures to redress the disadvantages in employment experienced by designated groups to ensure their equitable representation in all occupational categories and levels in the workforce.

Philip Meyer, technology director at Sage Pastel Payroll & HR says that it makes sense to submit online. “Employers should rather opt to register online at www.labour.gov.za to ensure they have enough time to prepare and submit their annual Employment Equity reports. Online users have the luxury of capturing information and saving their data online until the report is complete and ready to submit.”

Meyer adds that the EEA2 and EEA4 forms have to be submitted together or the Department of Labour will reject and return the submission. Employers who cannot submit their Employment Equity reports must let the Department know in writing. Employers who make use of payroll and HR software solutions should find it easy to complete the annual Employment Equity reports. Technology allows companies to capture data once and only tweak employee data and numerical goal plans when changes occur. They can also generate the EEA2 and EEA4 returns in the correct format with the correct information already collated and categorised.

Once submitted, the forms cannot be changed or amended in any way but guidance on how to complete the forms correctly is available on the Department of Labour website, according to Meyer.

Copies of the forms have to be retained for company records and to present to Department of Labour inspectors should they visit the company to check on compliance.

To read more about designated employers, go to http://www.southafrica.info/services/rights/employmentequity.htm

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