The JSE has been given 60 days to get its house in order after the Department of Labour found its plans were not compliant with employment-equity rules.

The department’s inspection and enforcement services also plans to review 72 JSE-listed companies. These could be hit with fines amounting to R1.5m if found to be noncompliant.

In June, the Employment Equity Commission announced that more than 50% of the 192 companies that were referred for prosecution for not complying were listed.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant issued a stern warning to employers then, even warning that the department would promulgate section 53 of the Employment Equity Act (EEA) to block the offenders from doing business with the state as a countermeasure.

The Department of Labour’s chief director for statutory and advocacy services, Fikiswa Mncanca, said in a statement on Thursday that the JSE had contravened section 20 (2) of the EE Act and was issued with recommendations.

However, the punishment would get costlier if the JSE failed to self-correct.

"If a company does not have a plan it will be subjected to a fine of R1.5m. Those failing to report on EE plans will also be subjected to a penalty of R1.5m.

"If a company has reported on EE plans but is found not to have an EE plan it will be taken to criminal courts for prosecutions and [to] enforce compliance," Mncanca said.

The department’s national director-general review team is conducting the inspections across SA. They started in July and end in December.

"The review involves a process of interrogating companies’ EE plans to assess whether the plan complies with legislation and is able to transform when put to test," the department said.

A parallel process was also launched to educate employers about the act, which promotes racial and gender equity in the workplace.


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