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Your compliance with the EEA will now be assessed

Lauren Salt
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Section 42 of the amended Employment Equity Act, No 55 of 1998, (EEA), as amended by the Employment Equity Amendment Act, No 47 of 2013, deals with how a designated employer will be assessed in terms of their compliance with employment equity in accordance with the EEA. The director-general (DG) of the department of labour (DoL) is tasked with this duty.

Section 42 of the amended Employment Equity Act, No 55 of 1998, (EEA), as amended by the Employment Equity Amendment Act, No 47 of 2013, deals with how a designated employer will be assessed in terms of their compliance with employment equity in accordance with the EEA. The director-general (DG) of the department of labour (DoL) is tasked with this duty.

In assessing a designated employer's compliance with employment equity in terms of the EEA, the DG of the DoL may, for example, take the following into account:

  • The extent to which suitably qualified people from and among the different designated groups, as defined in the EEA, are fairly represented within each occupational level in that designated employer's workforce in relation to the demographic profile of the national and regional economically active population,
  • The reasonable steps (no longer 'efforts') taken by a designated employer to train suitably qualified people from the designated groups and implement its employment equity plan,
  • The extent to which the designated employer has made progress in eliminating employment barriers that adversely affect people from designated groups, and
  • The reasonable steps taken by an employer to appoint and promote suitably qualified people from the designated groups.

The DG may also take into account section 15 of the EEA

This section deals with the affirmative action measures to be implemented by a designated employer. Significantly, the EEA provides that the DG may consider the steps taken by the designated employer to comply with the EEA and not merely reasonable efforts to comply. The significance of this amendment is that designated employers should show that they are taking positive steps to comply with the EEA.

The DG may, in terms of s20(7), apply to the court for a sanction to be imposed on a designated employer who does not comply with its employment equity plan. An employer may, in an assessment or in any court proceedings, raise any reasonable grounds to justify its failure to comply. These grounds may include any labour-market-related conditions, such as skills shortage.


Lauren Salt is a senior associate in Baker McKenzie’s Johannesburg office, where she focuses on employment law and labor relations. She mainly advises clients on industrial relations, employment negotiations, labor dispute resolution and change management. She frequently conducts and presents at seminars and client training sessions on the Labour Relations Act and other related legislation. 



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