An agreement reached by Business Unity SA (BUSA) may make it compulsory for employers to reveal the gap between the lowest-paid worker compared to that of the highest-paid worker, as well as the salary differential between male and female employees.
BUSA is a confederation of businesses in South Africa, and includes both chambers of commerce and industry, as well as corporate associations. It not only caters for large businesses, but small to medium enterprises as well. It also ensures that businesses play a constructive role in the country’s economic growth.
The organisation hopes to ensure that this rule is made compulsory within the next year, and salary differentials may be disclosed in company financial statements as per international standard. The aim of releasing the details of differentials is to create an ethos of fairness in workplaces across the country, and also to lessen the significant disparities between the paygrade of men and women.
A study conducted by StatsSA found that South African women earn 23% less than men do, and this requirement may level the playing field.
The pay gap between men and women in South Africa is the biggest on the continent.
“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,” said BUSA CEO, Tanya Cohen, said to BusinessTech.
A PwC report, titled PwC’s 10th edition of the Executive directors: Practices and remuneration trends, found that South African workers have to work for more than 36 years to match the average salary of a CEO.
Currently, there is a tool available that allows users to explore the pay gap between men and women across all regions in Africa. The tool, called Code for Africa, contains data compiled from the 2017 Global Gender Gap report to reflect accurate statistics.