COMPREHENSIVE POLICY DOCUMENT ON REPRESENTIVITY AND EMPLOYMENT EQUITY (cont.)

 

PART II

 5.1 Aims

The Department of Justice's aims and objectives commit itself to the quoted provisions in paragraph 1.1 supra of the Constitution of South Africa (Act 200 of 1993) and aims to address the past imbalances through a programme of affirmative action that takes into consideration the policy of

5.1.2 The Public Service Commission as contained in Chapter B.VII of the Public Service Staff Code;

5.1.3 the Public Service Act and Regulations;

5.1.4 the White Paper on the Transformation of the Public Service;

5.1.5 the Reconstruction and Development Programme; and

5.1.6 any other guidelines and rules set down by the Department of Public Service and Administration as well as any other legislation.

5.1.7 The Department further commits itself to cultural diversity and a willingness to change its organisational culture to accommodate, manage and support diversity in a positive way.

5.1.8 The Department aims to broaden the diversity of its workface whilst maintaining and improving its efficiency and competitiveness in the delivery of service to the people of South Africa.

 5.2.1 Objectives

In order to achieve the above aims, consideration should be given to the following:

5.2.2 Priority to the recruitment of candidates from disadvantage groups for appointment and promotion to enable the Deparetment to reach the targets and time frames as well as that of the Public Service and Administration: "White Paper on Transformation of the Public Service document" - namely, by the end of this century (1999) 50% of management should be black and 30% women.

5.2.3 To remove all forms of discriminatory practices based on race, gender, disability, age, language; and to establish equity in the Department.

5.2.4 To identify and rectify the effects of previous discriminatory practices and modify principles of employment so as to accommodate the disadvantage groups and promote/create representativity.

5.2.5 To promote transparency in the implementation of decisions related to the promotion of representativity, and in so doing foster trust and cooperation amongst management, officers and employees.

5.2.6 To improve intercultural communication at all levels by creating a favourable climate which is sensitive to the diversity within the workplace.

5.2.7 To design human resource development programmes that will empower all levels of staff, in particular the previously disadvantaged groups.

5.2.8 Top management commitment is required to bring about organisational change and transformation and the development of a more facilitative and supportive Management Committee.

5.2.9 To accelerate the intake and empowerment of disadvantaged groups at all levels, inter alia, through developing training and supportive strategies for new and existing staff.

5.2.10 To design employment and development strategies that will ensure the maintenance and improvement of standards and efficiency on service delivery.

5.2.11 To give particular attention to gender representativity especially in middle and top management echelons.

5.2.12 To make provision for the speedy resolution of grievances and disputes related to the implementation of this agreement in terms of the applicable labour laws.

5.2.13 To create a friendly and accessible work environment for people with disabilities.

5.2.14 To reassure those who feel threatened by the transformation process.

5.2.15 To enhance the morale of staff by:

  1. developing and building commitment to a code of conduct which lays the basis for professional conduct, mutual respect and personal integrity,
  2. to establish sound labour relations by educating members at all levels on fair labour practices; and establishing effective mechanisms to manage labour relations at all levels;
  3. to undertake measures to enhance the operational safety and security of all members of the Service;
  4. to establish measures and mechanisms to articulate and address problems which have a negative influence on morale at all levels;
  5. to improve service and working conditions;
  6. to facilitate improve leadership through participative management;
  7. to establish and implement new promotion and discipline systems;
  8. to ensure the proportional distribution of human resource between the respective national and provincial functions.

6. Affirmative Action Principles

6.1 Transparency with regard to the implementation of policy decisions, planning strategies and programmes.

6.2 Inclusivity - by enabling officers and employees to be part of the process.

6.3 Flexibility and dynamism - to accommodate new forces from within or outside the Department as new variables are brought into play ie, provide for amendments from time to time.

6.4 Quality of service, efficiency and productivity - its aim will be to improve and maintain high levels.

6.5 Development of the Public Service orientated culture focussed on the needs of user and clients of the service.

7. Procedures

7.1 It is imperative that the process should be owned by all levels of staff, and that top management should be committed to the process.

7.2 Managers, including line managers, will be held responsible/accountable for promoting and facilitating representativity; through the establishment of clear performance criteria and objectives.

7.3 Reduce prejudice by promoting inter-cultural sensitivity in the work place.

7.4 Supervisors and managers should undergo diversity management training.

7.5 Identified mentors should be fully equipped to perform their task so as to derive the optimum in a cost effective manner.

7.6 Written material should be in languages commonly used, simple and understandable.

7.7 Regular staff component audits (twice yearly) and reporting thereof.

7.8 To develop, institute and promote inter-cultural programmes.

7.9 Potential, skills and capabilities amongst others must be considered when affirmative action appointments are undertaken relating to the previously disadvantaged.

8. Recruitment

8.1 All vacant posts should be advertised internally and externally. The express aim should be to attract applications from the previously disadvantaged groups.

8.2 The media that targets the disadvantaged groups should be utilised at all times. The criteria for advertising any identified vacant post should be consistent whether advertised internally or externally.

8.3 Special efforts should be made to attract suitable applicants from the disadvantaged groups.

9. Selection and Appointments

9.1 In selecting a candidate from the disadvantaged groups, the minimum requirements outlined in the advertisement of job description should be the criteria.

9.2 Preference should be given to a candidate from the disadvantaged groups within the Public Service, failing which the Department can target disadvantaged groups from the outside.

9.3 Should two candidates from the opposite groups be rated equally, the concepts of representativity shall override and determine the final decision, until targets are met.

9.4 The word suitable will include the criteria for the "best person" such as:

  1. leadership and vision
  2. multicultural ability
  3. understanding of current policies
  4. knowledge of communities, clients and citizens
  5. language
  6. communication ability
  7. commitment to transformation and development
  8. team player
  9. experience within and or outside the Public Service
  10. functional skill

9.5 The utilisation of assessment instruments should be culturally unbiased when appointments are being effected.

9.6 In determining experience, it should not be confined to experience in the Public Service only; relevant experience elsewhere, including life experience combined with the potential to develop and acquire the relevant skills should be considered.

9.7 The special needs of the people with disabilities should be considered so as to promote accessibility to and mobility in the place of employment. Special aids should be provided.

9.8 Women should not be discriminated against for whatever reason.

9.10 Selection panels

9.10.1 Selection of candidates for interviews shall be done by a committee that is representative. The committee should be objective and consists of not less than three members.

9.10.2 Interviewing panels shall also be representative. The panel shall be objective. A minimum of five members is recommended.

9.10.3 The selection and interviewing panels may consist of non officials, persons not employed within the public service, that has the necessary skills and experience relating to the post(s) being advertised.

9.10.4 Applicants should be briefed on the kind of job they are applying for during interviews.

9.10.5 A member of the Directorate: Employment Equity/Human Resource development should be present on the selection panels.

9.10.6 The interview and selection process must be documented.

10. Training Development of Staff and Orientation of New Staff

10.1 It is recognised that the Department has a responsibility to provide opportunities for the maximum development of all staff members. In view of the educational and experience disparities between blacks and whites accelerated training and fast tracking is of paramount importance towards employment equity. The disadvantaged require entry into all levels and all occupational classes and this should be accommodated and facilitated by appropriate human resource development measures should therefore play a key role in the processes of achieving representativity.

10.2 Those with the necessary qualifications but without experience should be assessed on their potential and accelerated development courses be provided to enable them to perform effectively in the specific job. Effective mechanisms should be in place so as to identify and assess candidates with potential. Supervisors should be trained to assess potential.

10.3 It must be recognised that in certain specialised fields both fundamental knowledge and relevant practical experience are essential, both of which require time to develop.

10.4 Coaching or mentoring should be utilised.

10.5 Criteria for allocation of bursaries/scholarships should be adjusted to accommodate the disadvantaged groups.

10.6 Access to education and training by previously excluded persons from certain fields of study at all institutions should be facilitated.

10.7 There should be no discrimination against women and people with disabilities as far as training is concerned.

10.8 Supervisors shall bear the primary responsibility for the development of staff under their charge and their evaluation shall be influenced by their success in this task. This does not take away the responsibility of the individual to keep abreast of developments in their field.

10.9 Education and training programmes should be developed to enhance the skills and capacities of all staff at all levels for career paths with particular reference to the disadvantaged groups. Individuals also have responsibility for their own development.

10.10 The formal and informal orientation of new staff (including management) is absolutely vital. Attention should be given to culture, orientation and work ethics based on a code of conduct as prescribed for the professional public service.

 11.Performance Evaluation/Assessments

11.1 The performance of all officers and employees should be evaluated in the prescribed way.

11.2 Periodic performance evaluations of new officers and employees who require mentoring or training at the onset should be done to ensure that supervisors are performing their task, standards are maintained and improved and tokenism is avoided.

11.3 Evaluation should be based on actual work performance.

11.4 Evaluation should highlight further development needs.

11.5 Staff evaluated should be given feedback and problems areas discussed.

11.6 Supervisors should be held responsible for the performance of their subordinates. This does not remove the responsibility of the individual.

11.7 The system of performance evaluation should be reviewed to ensure it meets the principles of transparency and equity set down in the Affirmative Action Policy.

11.8 The criteria for performance appraisal will be made known to staff members.

12. Promotions

12.1 Given the recruitment and appointment procedure outlined in 8 and 9, suitable candidates from the disadvantaged groups should be given preference for post promotions.

12.2 Those with potential be given intensified training with a view to recommendation for accelerated promotion.

13. Procedures

13.1 Complaints

An officer having a complaint related to the implementation of the affirmative action or promotion of respectivity programme or allegedly being discriminated against, may submit the complaint to the Directorate: Employment Equity or the officer responsible for prompting representativity who will, in turn, bring the matter before the Directorate: Employee Relations, Subdirectorate: Labour Relations. This does not prevent an employee from lodging directly to the Labour Relations divisions formal grievance. A time limit for reaction to the grieved official should be set to respond. A period of three weeks are set.

13.2 Grievances

Should the grievance remain unresolved, it shall be taken through the existing dispute procedures. An affirmative action officer (Employment Equity officer) should be present at all grievance hearings.

13.3 Disputes

Any unfair discrimination of breach of this policy document shall be dealt with in terms of the applicable law.


PART III

The mechanism and support system that are to assist in the implementation of these policies are:

14. The Directorate of Employment Equity

14.1 The Directorate: Employment Equity shall oversee; promote; monitor; evaluate and report on the implementation of corrective action and make recommendation to the Minister and Director-General.

14.2 Receive periodic reports and audits of the Department's staff composition in respect of progress made with correcting the imbalances.

14.3 Assist in the resolution of complaints, grievances and disputes related to the implementation of this document.

14.4 Attend to any other issues related to the implementations of these documents.

14.5 The Employment Equity Directorate will be responsible for advising and assisting all levels of management in the implementation of this policy document and will also monitor the implementation strategies and practices on behalf of the head of the Department.

14.6 The Directorate: Employment Equity will be responsible for all affirmative action processes and programmes.

15. Roles/Accountability of Managers

15.1 The head of the Department bears the final responsibility and accountability for the successful implementation of the affirmative action programme.

15.2 Top management will be responsible for overseeing the implementation in their respective branches.

15.3 Supervisors will be responsible for the actual implementation of the policy document and their commitment to implementing this will form part of their performance appraisal areas.

15.4 Development is a joint responsibility of the individual and management.

16. Financing

The financial responsibility for implementing this document rests with the Department. The Directorate: Employment Equity shall make recommendations to the head of Department on the identified needs which must be financed out of the departmental budget. In general, additional expenditure which will result from the transformation process shall be met from allocations provided by each programme manager.

17. Consultation and Implementation

Consultation on the action plans, programmes and measure to any occupational class will take place with all relevant stakeholders to build consensus with regard to the implementation date.

18. Communication

Communication with all the relevant stakeholders will take place on a continuous bases.

19. Support Structures

The Department also seeks to establish support structures for black staff; women and disabled staff. The establishment of these structures will incorporate all the relevant stakeholders. The setting up of these structures will be contained in the action plans and programmes.

20. Monitoring mechanism

20.1 The Department established a Departmental Steering Committee on Affirmative Action which would be chaired at the highest level, which will meet twice a year to monitor progress, make recommendations about what needs to be done, identify those areas within the Department that are slow in implementing representativity and set clear targets which need to be achieved. This Committee will have broad representation including all key stakeholders so as to build ownership across the Department and to meet the criteria for consultation.

20.2 In addition to this, the Department established provincial committees with broad representation to advise in the development of action plans for their area and would also be involved in the monitoring of the action plans, programmes and measures. The provincial committee will report twice a year to the Departmental Committee. A member of the Directorate: Employment Equity may be present at Committee meetings.


PART IV

The action plans and programmes of the various occupational classes will be drafted and issued and as an annexure to this policy. Action plans and programmes will be consulted with all the relevant stakeholders. Action plans and programmes will be reviewed and revised periodically.

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