What is South Africa doing to reduce the gender pay gap?

South Africa has enacted specific legal provisions, i.e. sections 6(4) and 6(5) of the Employment Equity Amendment Act, No. 47 of 2013 dealing specifically with the principle of equal pay for work of equal value. The criteria and methodology on how to assess work of equal value, including implementation guidelines on how to eliminate unfair discrimination in pay and benefits, are prescribed in clauses 2 to 7 of the Employment Equity Regulations, 2014.

Furthermore, in order to provide practical guidelines and best practices to employers; employers ’organisations; workers and their trade unions; academics; and Human Resource practitioners on how to implement the principle of equal pay for work of equal value in the various workplaces, a Code of Good Practice on Equal Pay/ Remuneration for Work of Equal Value was implemented in June 2015.

Noteworthy, is that the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and the Labour Court have been empowered by Sections 10 read with 11 of the Employment Equity Amendment Act, 2013 to handle all Equal Pay disputes that are referred and also to provide the necessary legal remedies.

The following are some key recent Equal Pay cases that had been handled by the CCMA and the LC as a result of the joint annual advocacy campaigns on Equal Pay that have been conducted by the CCMA and the Department of Employment and Labour:

(a) Mangena and others v Fila South Africa (Pty) Ltd and others (JS 343/05) [2009] ZALC 81; (2010) 31 ILJ 662 (LC); [2009] 12 BLLR 1224 (LC).
(b) Ntai and others v SAB Ltd (2001) 2 BLLR 186 (LC).
(c) TGWU and another v Bayete Security Holdings (1999) 4 BLLR 401 (LC).

(d) Louw v Golden Arrow Bus Services (Pty) Ltd [2000] 3 BLLR 311 (LC).
(e) Sethole and others v Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality (JS 576/13) [2017] ZALCJHB 484; [2018] 1 BLLR 74 (LC).
(f) Co-operative Worker Association and another v Petroleum Oil and Gas Co-operative of SA and others [2007] 1 BLLR 55 (LC).
(g) Pioneer Foods (Pty) Ltd v WAR and others [2016] ZALCCT 14; [2016] 9 BLLR 942 (LC); (2016) 37 ILJ 2872 (LC).
(h) Ndudula v Metrorail Prasa (Western Cape) (C 1012/2015) [2017] ZALCCT 12; [2017] 7 BLLR 706 (LC).
(i) Minister of Correctional Services and others v Duma (CA 10/2016) [2017] ZALAC 78.
(j) Naidoo and others v Parliament of the Republic of South Africa (C 865/2016) [2018] ZALCCT 38; [2019] 3 BLLR 291 (LC); (2019) 40 ILJ 864 (LC).
(k) Ramaila v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and others (C 479/2017) [2019] ZALCCT 4.
(l) Sun International Limited v SACCAWU obo Ramerafe and others (JR 1501/17) [2019] ZALCJHB 31; [2019] 7 BLLR 733 (LC); (2019 40 ILJ 1873 (LC).
(m) Mbana v Shepstone and Wylie (CCT 85/14) [2015] ZACC 11; 2015 (6) BCLR 693 (CC); (2015) 35 ILJ 1805 (CC). (www.ccma.org.za)

It is critical to highlight that in August 2019, a revised Income Differentials Data collection tool (EEA4 reporting form) was published to enhance the quality of Income Differentials data collected from employers on an annual basis. This Data is critical to enable the National Minimum Wage Commission to assess the Wage Gap between the highest paid workers and the lowest paid workers in each organisation and/or in the various economic sectors. At the same time, the Commission for Employment Equity will utilise the same data to monitor the implementation of the principle of equal pay for work of equal value, including the gender pay gap. (EEA4 form is available on www.labour.gov.za ).

In what way can EPIC be relevant to South Africa?

It will be very helpful if EPIC could on annual basis share the best practices from other countries on the implementation of equal pay for work of equal value and the enforcement strategies.

At the same time, share some key implementation challenges faced by other countries, including best practices on how to advocate for equal pay and the reduction of the gender pay gaps.