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Parliament Gives Green Light to Employment Equity Amendment Bill

May 19, 2022

Parliament

Parliament has given the green light to the Employment Equity Amendment Bill.

The 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 called for comment on the bill at the end of 2020.

The committee adopted the bill at the end of August 2021 with amendments.

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

The select committee on trade and industry, economic development, small business development, tourism, employment and labour adopted the bill without amendments.

Meanwhile, the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment Bill has been amended by the select committee and returned to the NA for consideration of the proposed amendments.

The bill was tabled in parliament in September 2020.

The NA passed the bill and sent it to the NCOP for concurrence in September 2021.

The bill seeks to amend the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993, so as to:

• amend, substitute, insert, delete and repeal certain definitions and sections;
• provide for matters pertaining to the Board and its members;
• provide for the Commissioner to perform certain functions that were previously performed by the Director-General;
• further provide for matters pertaining to the rehabilitation, re-integration and return to work of occupationally injured and diseased employees;
• regulate the use of health care services;
• provide for the Commissioner to review pension claims or awards;
• provide for administrative penalties;
• regulate compliance and enforcement; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The portfolio committee on employment and labour will consider the proposed amendments.