Employment Equity Amendment Bill described as a “game-changer”

Recently the Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Employment and Labour has called for public comment on the Employment Equity Amendment Bill.

The bill has been described by President Cyril Ramaphosa as a ‘game-changer’ for Black Economic Empowerment in South Africa.

The Minister of Labour, after consulting with various sectors including the Commission for Employment Equity, will be empowered through the Bill to set numerical employment equity targets for any sector or part of a sector by notice in a gazette. The Labour department has clarified that the notice may set different numerical targets for different occupational levels, sub-sectors or regions.

Some of the factors which the Minister will consider when setting sector targets include:

  • The qualification, skills and experience required to be employed in a particular occupational level;
  • The rate of turn-over and natural attrition in a sector;
  • Recruitment and promotional trends within a sector.

The Employment Equity Act is clear that “suitably qualified” candidates should be appointed.  It is therefore important that designated employers align their skills development goals to their employment equity targets so that, should there be a specific qualification or skill required for a particular occupational level, there is proper alignment.

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