Equity bill: Employers need to set race, gender and persons with disabilities targets
by Jonathan Goldberg
What will probably be one of the most far-reaching labour statutes in the recent past, the Employment Equity Amendment Bill (EEAB), has been assented to by the President and is expected to be implemented in September 2023.
The major amendment in the EEAB is that the Minister of Employment and Labour is mandated by law to set race, gender and persons with disabilities targets that must be achieved over a five-year period.
These 18 sectors have been consulted with over the past months and must be near to finalisation for Gazetting. There are only seven justifiable reasons for designated employers to raise in defence of not meeting the targets. These include the absence of recruitment and promotion opportunities, a lack of suitably qualified persons as well as business acquisitions and mergers.
This is probably the most significant change since democracy. Designated employers who fail to obtain a certificate and comply with the EEAB will face disqualification from public sector tenders, fines and litigation, as well as other penalties.
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