Affirmative action dealt another blow – Solidarity
3 April 2017
Trade union Solidarity recently inflicted another blow on affirmative action with a favourable ruling by the Labour Court, with costs, on behalf of one of its members in the South African Police Service (SAPS). This came after this member who had been overlooked for promotion since 2014 due to affirmative action, was retrospectively appointed in a promotion position and reimbursed from 1 April 2014.
Anton van der Bijl, head of Solidarity’s Centre for Fair Labour Practices, argued that despite the fact that Mr Van der Merwe was deemed to be the suitable candidate for the position, he was deliberately overlooked due to his skin colour. “It was apparent from the investigation that in the appointment process, the SAPS only took race and gender into consideration,” Van der Bijl said.
According to Van der Bijl, section 6 of the Employment Equity Act prohibits all forms of unfair discrimination against employees. “We are pleased to announce that although Mr Van der Merwe has already left the employ of the SAPS, he will receive retroactive compensation as if he had been appointed to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. This is indeed a great settlement achieved on behalf of our member and we are pleased that we could effect a well-deserved settlement on behalf of yet another member of ours in the police,” Van der Bijl said.
According to Van der Bijl, the court also ruled that Mr Van der Merwe’s pension should be adjusted from 2014 as well. “We are pleased to announce that Mr Van der Merwe was appointed in the position of Lieutenant Colonel,” Van der Bijl said.
Issued by Anton van der Bijl, Head: Solidarity Centre for Fair Labour Practices, 3 April 2017