The Employment Equity Act (EEA) obliges senior management to create a framework for each enterprise and to report thereon. Decisions are processed from the top down to the bottom of the enterprise and employees are paid accordingly. In practice this should result in internal equity and external parity by complying with the law and cater for market forces.
There are 7 ‘occupational’ levels referred to in EEA9. Top management in the upper 3 levels decide policy, strategy and tactics. Important work is done in the bottom 3 levels by employees with varying degrees of skill. The 4th level is critical. It is where decisions are ‘converted’ into action. In other words ‘junior’ managers take decisions relating to who, where, when and how. Managers from this level are able to be trained for upper management levels. But the existing structure of EEA9 does not identify this as a separate level.
- Occupational levels and internal equity: Senior managers
- Flawed EEA9: Seven occupational levels needed.
EEA s 27
Section 27 of the EEA requires managers to eliminate any disproportionate pay differentials. So there has to be a straight-line wage curve across the 7 levels. Each enterprise is different so the generic curve can be applied to any enterprise and will depend on the ability of that enterprise to pay for the value that is being exchanged.
Pay levels are different because the job title determines the level of pay irrespective of the value created. A good example is judicial officers. There are three grades: JA, JB and JC and in the JC grade there are 5 ‘pay’ levels.
Grade JA has only one pay level for the chief justice [2016- R2,716,798].
Grade JB also has only one pay level for the president of the SCA and the deputy chief justice [2016 – R2,445,054].
Grade JC has 5 pay levels:
- Deputy president of the SCA [2016 – R2,309,261]
- Judges of the CC and SCA [2016 – R2,173,470]
- Judge presidents of the HC and LC [2016 – R2,037,678]
- Deputy judge presidents of the HC and LC [2016 – R1,901,726]
- Judges of the HC and the LC [2016 – R1,765,934]
Remuneration of Constitutional Court Judges and Judges GG 39829 – 325 – 17/3/2016
Clearly all judges perform similar functions but in different courts. But they are all paid the same, provided they are on the same pay level in one of the 3 grades. It matters not that the judge sits in a very busy court in one of the major cities or anywhere else. In other words unlike the private sector there is really no ‘value exchange’ where competition is important and wages need to be competitive and affordable. What is important in the private sector is to ensure that there is a proper ‘value exchange’ with proportional pay differentials.