Employment Equity non-compliance could scupper plans for trading with the state
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EMPLOYERS and companies will have to meet a set of conditions before being issued with the employment equity (EE) Compliance Certificate as a prerequisite for access to contracts with the government, according to the Department of Employment and Labour.
Masilo Lefika, the Department of Employment and Labour’s deputy director: Employment Equity Directorate, said this week that the certificate would be applicable for a year from the date of issue and was one of the reasons for the amendment of section 53 of the EE Act.
In terms of proposed EE amendments, the criteria for non-designated employers (those employing 0-49 employees) – was to comply with the national minimum wage (NMW) or prove that they had been granted exemption (previous 12 months); and had no CCMA unfair discrimination award against employers (previous 12 months).
The criteria for designated employers - those employing 50 or more employees - would have to submit annual EE Report (EEA2 & EEA4 forms); comply with the NMW or prove that they had been granted exemption not to pay NMW (previous 12 months); comply with own annual EE targets towards the five-year sector EE target; and had no CCMA unfair discrimination award against employers (previous 12 months), the department said.
Lefika said the intention was not to “bottleneck” employers. “The five-year sector targets are not quotas, but we are flexible. We do not want a one-size-fits-all solution,” he said, adding that exemptions would be granted when there were justifiable reasons
This included insufficient recruitment opportunities; insufficient target individuals from the designated groups with the relevant qualifications, skills and experience; insufficient promotion opportunities; transfer of business; merger/ acquisitions; impact on business economic circumstances, for example impact of Covid-19 pandemic on business.
Employers would be subjected to strict audit before the certificate was issued, said Masilo.