Labour Court judgment on EE and tabling of amendments to law to entrench transformation in the workplaces – CEE

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 the month to further entrench and deepen transformation in the workplaces.

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 (GCIS) offices in Pretoria during a media engagement by the Commission for Employment Equity (CEE).

She also took time to speak about the revised EE Act 4 form that requires of 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 in 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 advices the Employment and Labour Minister on EE and related matters and should not be confused with the work of the inspectorate of the Department.

The CEE’s functions are:

to advice Minister on Codes of good practice, regulations, policy and any other matter concerning the EE Act;

Make awards recognising achievements of employers in furthering the purpose of the Act;

Conduct research and report to the Minister on any matter relating to the application of this Act;

Perform any other prescribed function; and

Submit an annual report to the Minister.

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, she said the ruling was a victory for transformation.

Employers must continue to report and comply with EE law,” said Kabinde.

The Labour Court dismissed the application filed by Solidarity to challenge the Employment Equality Act and affirmative action programmes as unconstitutional.

Source: Department of Labour