Cape Town - The draft Employment Equity Amendment Bill could soon introduce far reaching changes to the act to ensure South Africa’s compliance with international labour standards, the labour department said on Tuesday.
The department presented its proposals to the National Assembly's labour committee on Tuesday.
Employment equity director Ntsoaki Mamashela said the proposals introduced by the bill included dealing with unfair discrimination by employers in respect of terms and conditions of employment of employees doing the same work, similar work, or work of equal value.
Another change related to allowing employees an option of referring unfair discrimination cases for arbitration to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration in certain circumstances.
These included where lower paid employees would be entitled to refer any discrimination claim to the CCMA for arbitration.
Mamashela said designated employers who failed to prepare and implement their employment equity plan could also be referred directly to the Labour Court by the labour department director general for a fine, without first securing an undertaking or issuing a compliance order.
Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant gave notice early last year of her intention to amend the Employment Equity Act, the Labour Relations Act, and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, and to introduce the Public Employment Services Bill.
Extensive public hearings were subsequently held in all provinces on the proposed amendments. - Sapa