Last chance for submission of comments to the amending of employment equity Bill and draft EE Regulations
Public comments to amendments to the Employment Equity (EE) Bill 2018 and draft EE Regulations close on 20 November 2018.
The Department of Labour published in September the Employment Equity Amendment Bill and the Draft Employment Equity Regulations in the Government Gazette to address the slow pace of transformation in the workplaces. The release in October 2018 was followed by the public hearings held by the Department to elicit inputs to the amendments and proposed regulations.
The key objectives of the latest EE amendments and Regulations are:
- To bring alignment between definitions, policy provisions and the administration systems and enhancing on the collection of data for the National Minimum Wage Commission,
- Introduction of provisions in the EE Amendment Bill and regulations for the consultation and setting of numerically based sector targets across various occupational levels to ensure an equitably represented workforce,
- To make reporting requirements easier for designated employers who are small employers, and
- Introduction of provisions and regulatory requirements for the promulgation of Section 53 to ensure employers financially benefiting from State contracts comply with the EE Act.
Some of the key areas of the EE amendment Bill & Regulations are: that an employer who employs fewer than 50 employees is not required to report any more in terms of the regulations, however, these businesses will have to apply for a certificate of compliance.
The new EE Regulations are also proposing the establishment of Sector targets.
Another critical component of the amendments is Section 53. This Section of the EE Act of 1998 relates to designated employers and employers who seek to do business with any organ of State. In terms of this amendment employers will have to apply for a certificate from the Minister confirming their compliance with the provisions of the Act – this in relation to prohibition of unfair discrimination, and the implementation of affirmative action measures for designated groups to achieve employment equity.
Another amendment in the EE Bill is that the psychological testing and other similar assessments of an employee are prohibited unless the test or assessment being used has been scientifically shown to be valid and reliable, can be applied fairly to all employees, is not biased against any employee or group, and has been certified by the Health Professions Council of South Africa.
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