Labour Court Gives Thumbs Up to Employment Equity

​Following this week’s Labour Court judgement on the constitutionality of the employment equity (EE) the Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) expects the Amended Employment Equity (EE) Bill to be tabled in Parliament before the end of October to enforce transformation in the workplace.

CEE Chairperson, Tabea Kabinde reiterated that the amended EE would empower the Employment and Labour Minister on the advice of the CEE to regulate sector specific EE targets and promulgate Section 53 to enable the issuing of EE Compliance Certificate as a prerequisite for accessing State contract.

Kabinde was speaking today at Government Communication and Information System offices in Pretoria during a media engagement.

She also took time to speak about the revised EE Act 4 form that requires companies to report on the collection of Income Differential data. She said the issue will have to be reported by employers on the EE reporting season for 2019.

According to Kabinde the draft Code on Violence and Harassment was to be published for public comment in February 2020. She expects the final Code on Violence and Harassment to be implemented from June in 2020.

She said the amendments to EE will have a telling impact in the way inspections are conducted with regard to verifications and enforcements.

Turning to the CEE functions she emphasised that the CEE was a multi-constituency body that mirrors representation of bodies like Nedlac – where government, civil society, business and labour were represented. She said the CEE was advisory body that advises the Employment and Labour Minister on EE and related matters and should not be confused with the work of the inspectorate of the Department.

In August, Employment and Labour Minister TW Nxesi had expressed concern at the slow pace of workplace transformation, and promised that Government will now be forced to resort to harsh measures to ensure transformation in the workplaces.

Nxesi said the amending of the Employment Equity (EE) Act will be fast-tracked. The Minister said the Bill was submitted for amendment during the last administration.

“Our intention is to resuscitate legislation that could not go through. We hope Parliament will prioritise the bills because their amendments were at an advanced stage,” he further said the Department was prioritising increasing the number of inspectors.

The 19th CEE report titled: “Transformation makes business sense” – shows that at top management 65.5% of the positions were occupied by the White group; followed by the African group 15.1%; Indian group 9.7%; Coloured group 5.3% & Foreign National 3.4%.

In the report under review, males occupied 76.5% of the positions and females 23. 5%. Africans occupied 76.0% of the positions in Government and Whites occupied 69.6% of the positions in the Private Sector. Males occupied 77.7% in the Private sector and Females 22.3%.

Males occupied 67% in Government sector and Females 33.0%. Persons with Disabilities constitute 1.3% at top management level.

The Department of Employment and Labour’s Inspections and Enforcement Services’ role include the promotion of equity in the labour market through the inspection and enforcement of the EE Act and its regulations by conducting inspections and conducting Director-General reviews.

Responding to this week’s Labour Court judgement which reconfirms the Constitutionality and legality of employment equity and affirmative action, Kabinde said the ruling was a victory for transformation.
“Employers must continue to report and comply with EE law,” said Kabinde.

-ENDS-

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