News FlashesApril 20, 2023

CRS News Flash 19 April 2023 – SOUTH AFRICA – Employment Equity Amendment Act, 2022

APRIL 2023 – SOUTH AFRICA
EMPLOYMENT EQUITY AMENDMENT ACT, 2022
It is important that employers note the following:

Employment Equity Amendment Act, 2022 assented by the President on 14 April 2023

The EEA (Employment Equity Act) applies to all employers (except the South African National Defence Force, National Intelligence Agency and South African Secret Services). Sections 12 to 27 of the EEA only apply to designated employers. The amendments to the EEA bring about a change to the definition of “designated employer” to restrict the application of these sections to a reduced group of employers and relieve some of the administrative burden on smaller employers.

The main objectives of the amendments are to empower the employment and labour minister to regulate sector-specific EE (Employment Equity) targets and to regulate compliance criteria to issue EE compliance certificates in terms of Section 53 of the EE Act.

The most notable amendments introduced include the following:

·        Deletion of part of the current definition of “designated employer”.

·        This will mean that an employer will only be considered a designated employer for purposes of the affirmative action provisions of the EEA if it employs 50 or more employees. There will no longer be any consideration given to an employer’s total annual turnover. As a result of the amendment, smaller employers will not be required to comply with the obligations of a designated employer relating to affirmative action, including the development and implementation of employment equity plans and reporting to and submission of employment equity reports to the Department of Employment and Labour. This will significantly relieve the administrative burden on these employers.

·        The definition of “people with disabilities”.

·        The definition is substituted to align with the definition in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2007. The amended definition includes “people who have a long-term or recurring physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment which, in interaction with various barriers, may substantially limit their prospects of entry into, or advancement in, employment”.

·        The ability of the Minister of Employment and Labour to identify national economic sectors and set numerical targets.

·        The Minister may identify national economic sectors which, in terms of the Act, are defined as “an industry or service or part of any industry”.

·        For any economic sector that has been identified, the Minster may set numerical targets to ensure equitable representation of suitably qualified people from designated groups at all occupational levels in the workplace.

·        The introduction of criteria to be met by employers in order for a certificate of compliance to be issued by the Department of Employment and Labour.

·        Such certificate will be required for employers dealing with state contracts. The certificate requirement (contained in section 53 of the EEA) was introduced some time ago, but has not yet come into force. The amendment to section 53 of the EEA provides that the Minister may only issue a compliance certificate if the employer has complied with the sectoral numerical targets set by the Minister for the relevant sector, or has demonstrated a reasonable ground for non-compliance.

 

The effective date of implementation is yet to be fixed by the President by proclamation in the Gazette. However, it is expected to take effect on 1 September 2023.

To view the Employment Equity Amendment Act No. 4 of 2022, follow the link.

 

Contact our legislation team on info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.
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