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Employment equity analysis – what is it and why do I need one?

Every company that is required to submit an employment equity plan needs to conduct an employment equity analysis before they can complete their plan.

So what exactly is the purpose of the employment equity analysis? Well, this is twofold. Firstly to assess a company’s employment policies, practices and procedures and the working environment, and secondly to identify employment equity barriers and under-representation in designated groups.

All employment policies and practices written or unwritten, express or implied as well as their application or implementation need to be assessed and analysed and must include an assessment of behaviour and attitudes to determine whether employees from designated groups experience a workplace as positive or negative. In most instances workshops, small-group interviews or individual questionnaires will expressly address the application and implementation of barriers.

In order to develop an effective Employment Equity Plan, factors in all employment policies, practices and the working environment that may adversely affect designated employees must be scrutinised.

Policies or practices in relation to recruitment selection, pre-employment testing and job evaluation should be screened for bias and inappropriateness.

Harassment, social policies and hierarchies, as well as company culture, often mask unhealthy beliefs and attitudes towards others.

Employment Equity barriers can cause designated group members not to achieve the same level of advancement or not to be valued as much as others.

The following questions should be asked when evaluating employment barriers:

· Does the policy or practice in any way exclude, limit or disadvantage designated group members?

· Does the policy or practice benefit all employees?

· Is the policy or practice legal?

· Is the policy or practice related to the real requirements for the job, promotion, or work assigned?

· Is the policy or practice applied consistently and is it effective in achieving the objective that is set for that policy or practice?

· Is reasonable accommodation possible?

The results of the analysis should then be analysed by the Employment Equity Forum in order to identify problem areas and come up with solutions and action plans to these problems and develop an Employment Equity Plan that will be implemented from this analysis.

An employment equity analysis is an important and required step in formulating a company’s employment equity plan and will also provide answers to the following questions:

- Are designated groups fairly represented in the workforce and throughout occupational categories?

- Are designated groups distributed in the workforce in the same proportion as non-designated group employees?

- Are certain designated group members significantly under-represented in higher positions?

If you need more information on how to develop an employment equity analysis or assistance with conducting an assessment in your company contact us for more details on 011 346 2422 or or visit our website –


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