COSATU welcomes the National Assembly’s adopting the Employment Equity Amendment Bill
16 November 2021
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes the National Assembly’s adopting the Employment Equity Amendment Bill today. This is a positive step forward for the long-delayed and progressive Employment Equity (EE) Amendment Bill.
The deliberate boycott and walkout by some Democratic Alliance Members of Parliament (MPs) and a few other little parties in a shameful attempt to collapse the National Assembly’s quorum, is testimony to their opposition to transforming South Africa and protecting the rights of women, Africans, Coloureds, and persons with disabilities who continue to face discrimination in their workplaces.
The Bill provides badly needed interventions to strengthen the government’s ability to hold employers accountable for their role and failures to adhere to the Employment Equity Act. COSATU’s support for the Employment Equity Amendment Bill is based upon the following progressive provisions:
- Requiring employers in their EE Annual Reports to provide confirmation that they have paid all their workers at or above the National Minimum Wage.
- Expanding the definition of disability to include intellectual and sensory, a long-overdue correction.
- Empowering the Minister to set economic sectoral, sub-sectoral, regional, sub-regional, and occupation-specific targets; enabling more precise targets for sectors, occupations, and regions that are notorious for their failures to reflect South Africa’s demographics.
- Allowing for regional and sub-regional variations, critical given the diversity of South Africa’s population found in different provinces, etc.
- Requiring employers to consult trade unions on employment equity targets, helping to foster a more inclusive approach to meeting targets and supporting collective bargaining.
- Empowering labour inspectors to inspect and ensure compliance with the EE Act.
- Empowering the Minister to issue compliance certificates to employers in good standing with the EE Act and to require such certificates for companies applying for government contracts. This is a welcome step forward requiring employers doing business with the state to follow labour laws and act in a way that supports good labour practices. Workers’ hard-earned taxes should not be used to reward abusive employers.
The National Council of Provinces should now move with speed to complete its leg of the Parliamentary and ensure that this progressive Bill is passed into law before Workers’ Day on 1 May 2022.
Issued by COSATU
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