The employment equity (EE) reporting system will be upgraded so that it allows for additional new information to be uploaded continuously, stakeholders were told today during the EE amendments workshop.
Ricardo Oosthuizen Senior Administrator for Employment Equity at the Department of Employment and Labour said in terms of amendments to EE legislation, once the reporting season kicks in everything starts from zero in terms of target setting. Oosthuizen said the second year of reporting following the proclamation of amendments will be critical as it will be a period in which “the system will inform you if you have or have not met own set targets".
He was speaking today in Emalahleni (Witbank) during the joint Departmental and CCMA 2023 Employment Equity national workshop held at Khayalami Hotel.
According to Oosthuizen in terms of amendments to EE “employers will be held accountable for own set targets".
Meanwhile, in the interim employers have been urged to use the current employment equity Act when the reporting cycle kicks-in as the amended legislation awaits proclamation date, advised Department of Employment and Labour Deputy Director: Employment Equity, Masilo Lefika.
“The amended EE is not in operation yet. The changes will be in operation once the president signs a proclamation. The amended EE is now law but not yet in operation," Lefika said, also noting that just like Section 53 of EE Act – it has always been in place but not in operation.
Section 53 deals with the issuing if Certificate of Compliance for entities that want to do business with the state.
The proclamation of the effective date of EE Amendment Act, 2022 – will mean that the amended EE Regulations and sector EE targets will be subjected for implementation during the EE reporting cycle.
Lefika was speaking during the Employment Equity national workshop held under the theme: “Real transformation makes business sense".
The workshop is discussing the Employment Equity Amendments signed into law by President Ramaphosa in April 2023. The objective of the amendments is: to reduce the regulatory burden for small employers; to empower the Minister to regulate the sector specific numerical EE targets; to promulgate Section 53; and to strengthen compliance, including the issuing of EE compliance certificates.
Mpumalanga Province Specialist Inspector in Employment Standards, Noluvuyo Dyalvani said inspectors were currently busy with Director-General reviews and monitoring of EE plans. Dyalvani said because the EE amendments are not yet promulgated, “it is business as usual" – and employers should use current legislation.
Lefika told stakeholders that EE was not about exclusion. He said: “EE is about diversity and inclusion". According to Lefika when EE was introduced in 1998 it was done so in good faith.
“However, as we move forward it seems there are challenges," he called on the stakeholders to engage the Department.
The 2023 workshops' objectives - is to create awareness on the recently promulgated EE amendments, sector targets and regulations; reflect on 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) Annual Report launch outcomes.
The national series workshops/roadshows started on 18 July 2023 in Thohoyandou and will now end in September 2023. The remaining EE workshops with venues to-be-confirmed will be held as follows:
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