The Employment Equity Amendment Bill, 2020 was passed by Parliament (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces) on 17 May 2022 and is waiting for the assenting and signing into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The main objectives of the Amendments are to empower the Minister to regulate sector specific EE Targets for the purpose of ensuring the equitable representation of suitably qualified people from designated groups (blacks, women and persons with disabilities) at all occupational levels in the workforce; and to regulate compliance criteria to issue an EE Compliance Certificate in terms of Section 53 of the EEA. This means that organisations that do business with the State will have to be in good standing when it comes to compliance with EE. However, even those businesses that do not necessarily do business directly with the State will have to comply with the law.
Engagements on the setting of sector specific EE targets started from June 2019 and will be completed by the end of September 2022. The Department will in due course publish the list of sector targets for public comment.
A new EE online assessment system will be created to monitor the implementation of sector targets. The assessment will be done annually. In the financial year 2024, the first year post the sector target setting period, the system will be able to tell whether employers were achieving their target plans. In case employers were not meeting their targets they would need to have justifiable reasons for not achieving their set targets. Inspectors will visit the workplaces to verify the information presented to justify the reasons for not achieving the set goals. If the information was not genuine, a Certificate of Compliance will be withdrawn, and penalties will kick in.
In adherence to current legislation, designated employers are defined as follows: a) companies which have 50 or more employees; or b) a turnover that exceeds the industry threshold as detailed below per schedule 4 of the EEA.
|Mining and Quarrying||R22.5 million|
|Electricity, Gas & Water||R30 million|
|Retail and Motor Trade and Repair Services||R45 million|
|Wholesale Trade, Commercial Agents and Allied Services||R75 million|
|Catering, Accommodation and other Trade||R15 million|
|Transport, Storage and Communications||R30 million|
|Finance and Business Services||R30 million|
|Community, Special and Personal Services||R15 million|
Section 1 of the Employment Equity Act, 1998 (Act No. 55 of 1998) is suggested to be amended by the deletion of paragraph (b) of the definition of ‘‘designated employer’’, which classified employers with fewer than 50 employees who meet a turnover threshold determined in Schedule 4 to the Act as designated employers.
Clause 14 seeks to repeal Schedule 4 to the Act, which contains the total annual turnover thresholds contemplated in paragraph (b) of the definition of ‘‘designated employer’’ as contained in section 1 of the Act and referred to in section 64A of the Act.
The above amendments are intended at reducing the regulatory burden on small employers in relation to regulatory provisions dealing with the implementation of Chapter III of the Act; and it means that an Employer who employs less than 50 employees may notify the Director-General of Employment and Labour to be considered for deregistration from the Employment Equity Public Register using an EEA 14 DG Notification form. This request can be sent to the Department of Labour by no later than the last working day of August 2023.
https://www.gov.za/speeches/employment-and-labour-amended-employment-equity-ee-act-aid-workplace-transformation-sa-31 (Visited on 20 September 2022)
https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_document/202108/b14b-2020-employment-equity-amendment-bill.pdf (Visited on 20 September 2022)