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Employment Equity Regulations in the Pipeline

May 13, 2022

Department of Employment and Labour

Employment Equity Regulations designed to implement the proposed Employment Equity Amendment Act are in the pipeline.

During a briefing on its 2022/23 annual performance plan, the employment and labour department confirmed that the plan is to publish the Regulations by 31 March 2023.

The Employment Equity Amendment Bill was tabled in parliament in July 2020.

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.

The portfolio committee on employment and labour adopted the bill at the end of August 2021 with amendments.

The national assembly passed the bill and sent it to the national council of provinces for concurrence in November 2021.

During a briefing to the select committee on trade and industry, economic development, small business development, tourism, employment and labour at the end of last year, the department pointed out that, in conjunction with the Commission for Employment Equity, a consultation process with each economic sector separately was initiated in 2019 with the aim of reaching consensus on the setting of EE sector specific targets for the designated groups, particularly at the top four occupational levels, namely, Top Management; Senior Management; Professionally Qualified and Skilled Technical level.

Meanwhile, in Government Gazette 46345, the department announced the intention to cancel the registration of Laundry and Allied Workers Union of South Africa in terms of the Labour Relations Act.
Objections are invited within 60 days of the date of publication.

In Gazette 46346, the department announced the intention to cancel the registration of Cape Town and District Laundry Cleaners and Dyers Association in terms of the act.

Objections are invited within 60 days of the date of publication.