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by Jaco Swart

Dear employer

The National Assembly of Parliament has sent the Employment Equity Amendment Bill (“the Bill”) to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for concurrence. Should the Bill be agreed to by the NCOP, it will be sent to the President to assent to and sign into force.

In terms of the Bill, the Minister of Employment and Labour will now be able to determine numerical targets to be met for any economic sector:

  • The determination of targets in terms of an EE plan was always the prerogative of a particular employer. However, should the  Minister determine targets for a sector, all employers within that sector will now have to align their targets with these prescribed targets.
  • Should a designated employer fail to meet these targets or to provide reasonable grounds for its failure, the employer will be deemed to be non-compliant with the Act.
  • The same grounds for justification for non-compliance with targets remain available to employers. These include no vacancies, no suitable candidates available, the extent to which the employer has attempted to comply etc.

This amendment also removes the option for non-designated employers to voluntarily comply with the requirements of the Act as if they were designated employers.

Therefore, where non-designated employers could in the past voluntarily comply in order to acquire a certificate of compliance, all non-designated employers may now request a compliance certificate, based on certain criteria, without having to submit an Employment Equity report.

A ‘designated employer’ is defined as a person who employs 50 or more employees; or a person who employs less than 50 employees, but has an annual turnover that is equal to or above the applicable annual turnover threshold in terms of schedule 4 of the Act.

It is expected that the Bill will be signed into force within the course of next year, and we will keep members abreast of developments in this regard.

Jaco Swart is the National Manager and Bargaining Council Co-ordinator of the National Employers’ Association of South Africa (NEASA).

For more information:
NEASA Media Department

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