Employment equity practices in a financial institution.
Historically, due to the policy of Apartheid, the South African labour market was beset with inequality in access to education, skills, managerial and professional work. Labour practices were based on race and ethnicity instead of talent, creativity and endeavour. Today, most major organisations in South Africa are staking their future growth on equity in the workplace. With the introduction of the Employment Equity Act (No. 55 of 1998), employers have a responsibility to take proactive steps in eliminating unfair discrimination and to promote equity in the workplace, especially with regard to people from the previously disadvantaged groups, namely Africa, Indian and Coloured people, women and the disabled. The objective of this research is to critically evaluate how South African Financial Institutions have progressed in creating an employment structure based on equal opportunity and non-discrimination. This will be done using the ABSA Groups employment equity strategy as a case study. Employment Equity in South African organisations has become essential. The business community at large therefore faces a very realistic challenge in order to initiate appropriate strategic moves and accelerate the much-needed impetus for change. Organisations will have to identify and eliminate unfair and discriminatory policies and practices so as to comply with the Employment Equity Act. As difficult as this may be, it is crucial that organisations comply with the Act or else heavy penalties will be imposed for their transgressions.