South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)
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Employment Equity Plan   

Underlying philosophy
The MRC views employment equity as a strategic priority and it recognises it as an important measure against which a world class organisation is benchmarked.

The organisation regards the creation of an equitable working environment, with the dignity of all employees respected and the diversity of employees valued and properly managed, as a solid base for longer-term growth and competitive advantage.

The rationale for Employment Equity

Business rationale
Transformation and the successful management of diversity will deliver a competitive advantage that will deliver a stronger, more cohesive and more productive MRC. It contributes to greater employee satisfaction and commitment resulting in lower staff turnover and stronger client and stakeholder orientation and satisfaction.

Social and moral rationale
The MRC is a Science Council of international repute doing relevant research for Southern Africa and the rest of the continent and in this context the organisation recognises Employment Equity as both a moral and social responsibility.

The MRC recognises, at the moral level, the institutionalised discriminatory practices of the past and commits itself to the redressing of those. The organisation will continue to champion the elimination of barriers to equity and development and it will purposefully strive towards a value system that is built on respect for the human dignity of all employees.

At the broader social level the MRC will contribute to human resource development, equity, inclusivity, openness and the respect for human dignity and rights.

Basic principles
Employment Equity and Corrective Action will be based on the following principles:

  • Strategic priority
    As a strategic priority it forms a key component of the organisation's drive to use research in creating a healthy environment.
  • Holistic approach
    It will be a central factor in the business strategy of the MRC including the recruitment and appointment processes as well as all forms of people development and advancement.
  • Equity
    The notion of equity is central to the process of achieving equal employment opportunities and it will be applied fairly and justly in the elimination of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, political persuasion and any other form of unfair discrimination as specified in the Employment Equity Act.
  • Organisational culture
    The MRC shall continuously endeavour to develop an organisational culture that is characterised by values, norms, beliefs, systems and practices that are inclusive and supportive of the development of all its employees.

Corrective action objectives
The EMC should establish objectives that are to serve as guidelines according to which the MRC programmes/divisions/units should focus their Corrective Action transformation.

In setting objectives, programmes/divisions/units should be required to have designated persons adequately represented at all occupational levels and categories over the next three to five years. Regional and national demographics shall act as guidelines.

It is accepted that different programmes/divisions/units may have different objectives and targets based on factors such as financial circumstances, pool of suitably qualified people from designated groups, staff turnover and the like.

Broadly speaking, the EMC could address transformation, in the context of employment equity under four overriding perspectives: (See diagram)

  • HR policies, practices and benefits
  • Corrective action
  • Human dignity
  • Broader empowerment

Primary objectives of the framework will be:

  • To set strategies, objectives and targets (both numerical and qualitative) under each of the above perspectives in order to promote employment equity and cultural diversity. These will serve as benchmarks to programmes/divisions/units in engaging in their own transformation activities and are to be well publicised and communicated.
  • To ensure that the MRC remains committed to maintaining high levels of excellence in outputs and service delivery. Hence, competent employees who are capable of performing to the standards required, or reflect the potential to meet those standards, will be recruited, appointed, promoted and developed. In this sense, where imbalances in representation exist, 'suitably qualified' persons will be appointed as per the provisions of statute.
  • To create a value system which is supportive of and ensures full commitment to the transformation process in the MRC. Furthermore, to align this value system to on-going transformation in the country.
  • To ensure that programmes/divisions/units promote capacity building as a pre-condition to meeting strategic objectives.
  • To provide support in terms of training and development interventions.

Systems, structures and monitoring
In order to comprehensively support the achievement of the transformation objectives, Human Resources Development advises the setting up the following structures:

EMC

  • To develop and monitor strategies, objectives and targets.
  • To deliberate on issues arising from the programmes divisions/units.
  • To develop a performance measurement system that encourages transformation.
  • To effectively communicate the Corrective Action Policy.

Human Resources

  • To communicate (internally and externally) and co-ordinate the transformation process in accordance with agreed time frames.
  • To establish and support consultative structures as well as develop reporting mechanisms.
  • To ensure the provision of adequate training in order to foster a true understanding of transformation.
  • To address other areas of transformation as may be appropriate from time to time and co-ordinate dispute resolution matters where applicable.

Employment Equity Forum

  • To act as consultative body in terms of the Employment Equity Act.
  • To conduct the following activities within the framework of the Act:
  • Review, monitor and make recommendations on targets.
  • Propose amendments to the employment equity policy.
  • Monitor the Equity Plans submitted to the Director-General.
  • Any additional related activities.
  • To monitor progress being achieved by contemplating standardised reports on prescribed activities as compiled by line management on a regular basis.
  • To effectively represent the best interests of employees by following dispute resolution mechanisms as agreed from time to time.
  • To support the successful achievement of objectives and time frames.

Employment Equity Forum

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Last updated:
29 February, 2016
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