Thursday, August 22, 2019

Calls for income transparency in recruitment ads

PayslipBanSA plans to use the constitution to help close the wage gap.
Tebogo Tshwane  from MoneyWeb interviewed Leonie Hall and Victor Zikalala on the 13 May 2019 

A growing number of countries have implemented legislation that forces companies to be transparent about how much they pay their employees – the aim being to expose and eliminate salary disparities between different race and gender groups.

The 2018/2019 Global Wage Report produced by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) found that women continue to be paid, on average, approximately 20% less than men. When the ILO looked specifically at low- and middle-income countries, it named South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania and Malawi as “the countries with the highest levels of wage inequality among the 64 countries considered”.

It is this inequality that PayslipBanSA is seeking to tackle through its campaign. The advocacy body ultimately aims to legally challenge the lack of remuneration transparency and the demand for payslips and pay history during recruitment as constitutionally unfair and anti-competitive.

No to obscure ads and payslip requests

“Income inequality is something that is negotiated … we might as well call inequality a labour market function because right now it is being propped up by the labour market,”

Leonie Hall, founder of the advocacy group, told Moneyweb.

PayslipBanSA wants to take its fight to the Constitutional Court and has partnered up with JustLaw, a crowdfunding and legal rights advocacy platform that assists people who want to take legal action but cannot afford to.

Hall says the group believes that the law provides space to question this labour market conduct – particularly Section 23 of the Constitution, which states that “everybody is entitled to fair labour practice”.


Maphutha Diaz, head of human resource standards and projects at the SA Board for People Practices, says that the practice of asking for payslips is influenced by particular companies’ policies or procedures, adding that the public service is known for its transparency.

PSBSA Response: Employers demanding payslips is not an act of transparency, it’s an act of intimidation.

Diaz says employers use payslips to place potential employees within specific remuneration pay scales relative to others in the same jobs or job categories.

PSBSA Response:This is a free market, there is no regulation stating certain jobs must be paid a fixed amount. Why doesn’t SABPP apply the same rule to CEO remuneration and contest the lack of  ‘relativity’ there? they apply a selective virtue based upon unfair power.

What they imply is unlawful as it ‘s unfair on job applicants in terms of the Constitution and denigrates  worker dignity in the labour market.

SABPP violates the Competition Act as they undermine a fair competition for talent by spying on rival employers remuneration. Price fixing labour according to pay slips is anti-competition. 

“If new employees are placed incorrectly relative to existing employees, you could end up creating anomalies which are a source of employee grievances,” says Diaz.  

PSBSA Response: When an employer identifies a vacancy, a budget is established based on their compensation structures and labour market surveys.  Recruitment is not a labour market wage scoping exercise. Pay is not relative in this context – it is downright stupid, unethical and undemocratic to demand pay slips in an effort to justify incompetence.

Using job applicants payslips to establish an offer, besides being Constitutionally unfair and anti-competition in terms of the Competition Act, is akin to slavery.

Diaz lacks an intellectual argument. What he positions is a continuation of the apartheid era baaskap mentality. He perpetuates the belief that black labour is cheap and can be cheapened more by a morally deficit recruitment sector and those who pay for it  it. Unethical employers and their cronies transact inequality into the future.

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