Xmeco will not unfairly discriminate, either indirectly or directly, on any ground against persons or groups or categories of persons. The company, in any employment policy or practice, specifically in recruitment and selection of employees for positions, will not unfairly discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on any arbitrary grounds; including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, family responsibility, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, HIV status, conscience, belief, political opinion, culture, language and birth.

Distinguishing, excluding or preferring any person on the basis of inherent requirements of a job is not considered discrimination.

The company has also adopted an Employment Equity Plan that makes provision for affirmative action appointments of candidates from the designated groups in terms of the numerical goals set out in that plan. Priority in appointments may therefore take place in order to meet these goals as set out in the Plan. It is recognised that there are circumstances where certain categories of people may be unable to satisfy the inherent requirements of a job and that these minimum requirements, are not regarded as being unfairly discriminatory.

The company has adopted policies and programmes aimed at redressing the disadvantages in employment previously experienced by people from designated groups, in order to ensure their equitable representation in the workplace.

As a responsible employer, Xmeco is committed to the goals and ideals of employment equity and the measures that have been set in place to bring these about. This document reaffirms the decision by the Board of Directors to meet its responsibilities in terms of the Employment Equity Act of 1998 in a manner that will best serve the future interests of the businesses, their employees, and the country as a whole.

The following aims of the Act are all addressed in this plan:

  • To promote the constitutional right of equality for all in the workplace
  • To eliminate unfair discrimination where it may exist in Xmeco
  • To redress the effects of past discrimination in employment practice
  • To achieve equitable representation in all occupational categories and levels
  • To promote economic development and efficiency in the workforce

In the spirit of the Act, Xmeco firmly accepts that they must achieve the desired employment equity status in a responsible manner, with due regard to the broader realities of the business and economic environments. The interests of previously disadvantaged individuals will be best served if the transformation process not only provides opportunities for upward job mobility, but also provides the security of long-term job tenure. This can only happen if Xmeco continues to prosper during and beyond this transformation period.

With the obvious exclusion of unfair discrimination, for which there is a moral imperative, the goals of the Employment Equity Act are only attractive (to both employers and employees) if the benefits can be sustained in the longer term. For this reason, Xmeco pledges itself fully to pursuing the goals of the Act without compromising the businesses, their market share, their customer base, their profitability, or their quality and service standards in the process.

This policy represents the first steps towards normalizing the working environment. It describes the rationale behind the numerical goals and the employment equity objectives for the period of the plan.

To achieve this plan, employment equity will be fully assimilated into Xmeco’s current and future strategic plans so that it can be given due consideration in all decisions concerning future vacancies, future growth, market expansion, organizational development and so on. By embracing employment equity fully at the strategic level, both shareholders and employees can be assured of tangible long-term benefits as a result of the transformation process. This plan has been put together with that goal in mind.

In line with this stand, no premature job promotions or job appointments will be made for the sake of window-dressing or superficial compliance. The Employment Equity Act is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Advancement of previously disadvantaged candidates (either to new jobs or to new levels of competence in the same jobs) should contribute directly to greater productivity and keener competitiveness, as proposed by the Act.

Xmeco therefore has a sincere commitment to achieve employment equity, tempered by an unyielding reluctance to compromise standards. These are not opposing forces (as they might seem). Instead, they represent a compelling challenge that mirrors the rationale behind the Employment Equity Act itself. No one gains by reducing this challenge to a simple numbers game or by minimizing it through tokenism or cosmetic manipulation. Instead, the sensible response to this challenge is to commit Xmeco to a strong program of internal development so that our employees have every chance of bettering themselves and competing on merit for the jobs to which they aspire.