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DEL Shines Light on Employment Equity Compliance Certificate

September 10, 2021

Department of Employment and Labour

Employers and companies will have to meet a set of conditions before being issued with the Employment Equity Compliance Certificate as a prerequisite for access to contracts with the state and any of its organs.

In a statement, the employment and labour department’s deputy director: employment equity directorate, Masilo Lefika, pointed out that the Certificate will be applicable for a year from the date of issue and is one of the reasons for the proposed amendment of section 53 of the Employment Equity Act.

The proposed amendment is contained in the Employment Equity Amendment Bill tabled in parliament in July 2020.

The draft bill was published for comment in October 2018.

The explanatory summary was published in Government Gazette 43535.

The bill aims to amend the Employment Equity Act, 1998, so as to:

• amend a definition;
• insert certain definitions, to substitute a definition and to delete a definition;
• provide for the Minister to identify sectoral numerical targets in order to ensure the equitable representation of suitably qualified people from designated groups;
• provide criteria for the Minister to issue certificates; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The proposed legislation will empower the labour minister to determine sectoral numerical targets in order to ensure the equitable representation of suitably qualified people from designated groups (blacks, women and persons with disabilities) at all occupational levels in the workforce.

It also seeks to enhance the administration of the act including the implementation of Section 53 that provides for the issuing of a Certificate by the minister confirming an employer’s compliance with Chapter II, or Chapters II and III, of the act, as the case may be, in relation to the conclusion of state contracts.

The bill also aims to remove the requirement for psychological testing and similar assessments of employees to be certified by the Health Professions Council of South Africa and to remove a provision empowering non-designated employers to notify the director-general of the labour department that they intend to voluntarily comply with Chapter III of the act as if they were a designated employer.

In the statement, the department sets out the criteria for non-designated employers (those employing 0-49 employees) and designated employers (those employing 50 or more employees).

Lefika added that the “five-year sector targets are not quotas, but we are flexible. We do not want a one size fits all solution”.

In another statement, the department called on employers to submit Employment Equity Reports on time.

According to the department, the reporting season opened on 1 September 2021 with manual reporting closing on 1 October 2021 and online reporting on 15 January 2022.

Virtual employment equity workshops are currently under way until 28 September 2021.