The conclusion of the much-anticipated Jobs Summit has brought the topic of employment and pay gaps at the centre of the debate – something that is long overdue, really.
Dubbing itself as the ‘voice of business in South Africa‘, Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), at the Jobs Summit, adopted an agreement that would see businesses voluntarily disclosing the scale of difference in remuneration between the workers and bosses.
The aim would be to expose the disparities in salaries between men and women. BUSA’s president, in his speech, Sipho Pityana spoke positively about the impact of the Jobs Summit.
“Social partners were able to come together at Nedlac because there is no longer the mistrust that pervaded institutional frameworks. The current political environment is conducive to dialogue. Our discourse is no longer dominated nor coloured by scandal. Substance has returned to public rhetoric as the political noise has died down. The paradigm has shifted from public scandals to social partners collaborating on the Jobs Summit.
“We have come a long way and the Jobs Summit is not the complete answer but is rather one of the answers to the call of Thuma Mina. This process is the short-term curtain-raiser, if you will; the stage-setter for what we expect to be long-term and ongoing engagements about how best to grow the economic pie and ensure we address inequalities.” he stated.
According to reports from Business Day, these commitments should be made compulsory within the next 12 months.
The whole point to this, as reported by Business Tech, is to allow the employer to develop a consciousness towards these disparities and address these issues.
Tanya Cohen, the CEO of BUSA reflected on the importance of the summit framework agreement.
“The idea is that business takes ownership of this and voluntarily discloses, self-reflects and addresses disparities that cannot be justified. It is a fix-it-yourself approach,” she said.
Business Tech, in August, collated the pay differences between workers and CEOs of the top 25 companies listed in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
The table highlights the pay gap in a ration of worker pay to CEO pay. According to PwC’s 10th edition of the Executive directors: Practices and remuneration trends, it takes the average salary of 65 workers to match that of one CEO in 2018.
Using the 65:1 ratio as a basis of analysis, this is the table that displays the current disparities in South Africa’s work environment.