Employment Equity Regulations on Track

July 21, 2023

Department of Employment and Labour

The employment and labour department is busy consolidating public comments on the Draft Employment Equity Regulations.

The department’s deputy director for employment equity (EE), Masilo Lefika, confirmed this during an EE workshop in Limpopo.

The draft regulations were published for comment in Government Gazette 48589 in May 2023 in terms of the Employment Equity Act.

The draft regulations set out employment equity targets for economic sectors.

They flow from the Employment Equity Amendment Act signed by president Ramaphosa in April 2023.

The act aims to amend the Employment Equity Act, 1998, so as to:

  • amend a definition;
  • insert certain definitions;
  • 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 employment and 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 act 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.

The act comes into effect on a date still to be determined by the president.

The draft regulations contain the proposed five-year sector targets for the various economic sectors.

They focus on top management, senior management, professionally qualified and skilled levels.

In the statement, the department announced that the final sector targets will soon be published in the Gazette for implementation following the proclamation of the commencement date of the amendment act.

Lefika confirmed that the status quo regarding the implementation of the Employment Equity Act will remain in place until the proclamation date is signed into law to effect the amendments.

He added that key objectives of the amendment act include reducing the regulatory burden for small, medium and micro enterprises; empowering the employment and labour minister to set sector targets to address equity in workplaces; and promoting Section 53 on the issuing of an EE compliance certificate where organisations doing business with the state will have to show that they are complying with EE law.

The national series of workshops/roadshows will end on 29 August 2023.

Source: Sabinet