Employment equity amendments in the spotlight in the 2023 Department of Employment and Labour and the CCMA national workshops

The recently signed amendments to the Employment Equity (EE) Act and accompanying proposed EE Regulations will be in the spotlight when the Department of Employment and Labour in partnership with the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) commence their series of national workshops next week. The Department and the CCMA will be conducting the 2023 Employment Equity Roadshows in the form of national workshops facilitated throughout the country under the theme: “Real transformation makes business sense”.  The focus of this year’s workshops will be to create awareness on the recently promulgated EE amendments, sector targets and regulations; EE impact in labour market; demonstration of online EE system to incorporate the amendments and generate certificates of compliance; presentation of the CCMA’s case law on EE; reporting on EE and the Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) report on its launch outcomes. The Amendments to the EE Act of 1998 and its Regulations are primarily aimed at empowering the Minister of Employment and Labour to regulate the setting of sector specific EE numerical targets and the promulgation of Section 53 that deals with the issuing of an EE Compliance Certificate as a prerequisite for accessing of State contracts. Employment Equity Act, 55 of 1998 (EEA), is a legislative framework that protects employees against unfair discrimination in respect of unequal terms and conditions of employment. The recent 23rd Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) Annual Report released last month showed that the South African labour market continues to be racialised and gendered. The report has shown that the status of progress made in the implementation of affirmative action for the achievement of the equitable representation of employees from the economically disadvantaged groups in the workplace remains slow.  The national series workshops/roadshows start on 18 July with the last workshop to be held on 29 August 2023.  The programme of workshops is as follows: LimpopoThohoyandou (18 July 2023) – (Jerico Hotel Ha-Budeli, next to Nandoni Dam)Polokwane (19 July 2023) – (Bolivia Hotel, School Road – Jubilee Creek, bendor)Northern CapeKimberley (19 July 2023) – (Horseshoe Hotel, 101 Memorial Road, Royldene)North WestLichtenburg (25 July 2023) – (Scotts Manor Guest House – 21 Bree Street, Retiefs Park)Rustenburg (26 July 2023) – (Orion Hotel – 115 Hagia Sophia Drive, Kloof)KwaZulu-NatalPietermaritzburg (25 July 2023) – Ascot Wedding & Conference Venue, 210 Woodhouse Road, Scottsville)The rest of the workshops whose venues are yet-to-be-confirmed will be held as follows:GautengPretoria (01 August 2023)  Johannesburg (02 August 2023)MpumalangaWitbank (Emalahleni) – (15 August 2023)Nelspruit (Mbombela) – (16 August 2023)Western CapeGeorge (15 August 2023) Cape Town (16 August 2023) Eastern CapeGqeberha (22 August 2023)East London (23 August 2023)Free StateWelkom (22 August 2023) Bloemfontein (23 August 2023) KwaZulu-NatalDurban (29 August 2023) The EE workshops are targeted at Employers or Heads of organisations, Academics, Assigned Senior Managers, Consultative forum members, Human Resource Practitioners, Trade Unions, employees and interested stakeholders. The 17 national workshops will be held from 10:00 to 14:00 and members of the media are invited. More information on the EE workshops, including any updates on the venues to be used, will be available on the Department’s and the CCMA’s social media platforms as well as the Department’s website www.labour.gov.za.