This past Friday, the 25th of July 2014, saw the gazetting of the effective date of the amended Employment Equity Act, just days before its implementation date of 1 August 2014. The Act and its path to amendment has been the subject of much criticism and at CAPES we have been at the forefront of the discussion and negotiation with our representatives present at every possible forum, including NEDLAC.
Of concern is the short notice on which the implementation of this amended piece of legislation will occur. This leaves little time for companies to amend their processes and to ensure that they comply with the new legislation, some of which contains potentially confusing concepts such as “equal treatment” and where the regulations should provide some clarity.
CAPES expects the Employment Equity Regulations to be released in the near future with a strong possibility that they will be released next week.
APSO President and CAPES EXCO Member, Tabea Magodielo is an Employment Equity Commissioner and confirms that the Commission is currently working on a Code of Good Practice in relation to Equal Pay however there is no clarity on when this process will be finalised and the Codes approved.
The most controversial of the changes to the Act is the increase of fines, ranging from 2% – 10% of turnover with alternative Rand values should they be greater than a fine based on turnover, or for certain offences. At CAPES we in no way support non-compliant business, however the substantial increase in fines linked to the discretion provided to labour inspectors in ensuring compliance opens the door for potential corruption.
Raising further confusion are statements being made in respect of equal treatment and linked to this the Labour Relations Bill that calls for equal treatment after 3 months employment between permanent employees and temporary workers in the event of the employee earning below the threshold amount (currently R 205 433.30 per annum). Please note that equal treatment applies only where there are no differentiators. The differentiators permitted are listed in the Act. Furthermore, the Labour Relations Bill has not yet been signed off by the President and is therefore not yet implementable.
There is clearly a need for this legislation however it is critical that the implementation thereof meets the purpose of the Act, that is, to ensure equality.
CAPES urges its members and other members of the broader business community to ensure that they acquaint themselves with the contents of the amendment Act and that they comply with the new provisions of the legislation. CAPES stands ready to lead its constituency, alongside other business representatives in engaging Government and Organised Labour on the amended Act as well as the successful implementation thereof.
CAPES Secretariat – Attention: Natalie Singer / Johnny Goldberg
Tel: 011 974 3143 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.capes.org.za
The Confederation of Associations in the Private Employment Sector (CAPES) is an umbrella body, formed in 2002, when the need for a unified voice for the South African staffing industry became apparent. CAPES was created specifically to act as the lobbying organisation for the four primary staffing associations, who represent thousands of SME staffing businesses, and several of South Africa’s largest corporate staffing companies.