The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) has approved three new bills, which now sit with president Cyril Ramaphosa waiting to be signed into law.
The laws will have a significant impact on businesses and private households in the country, opening the way for BEE quotas to be introduced in different sectors, and formalising domestic workers.
For business owners, this means having to meet new employment equity targets set by the minister of labour, and for private households employing domestic workers, ensuring employees are registered for UIF and taking on other related admin.
The bills are outlined below:
Employment Equity Amendment Bill
The Employment Equity Amendment Bill is a big shakeup for businesses and black economic empowerment (BEE) in South Africa.
The bill will allow the Employment and Labour minister Thulas Nxesi to set employment equity targets for different business sectors. The minister can set targets for different occupational levels, sub-sectors or regions.
It also aims to reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses, but adds rules for doing business with the government.
The Department of Employment and Labour has previously indicated that it plans to introduce the new sector-specific equity rules in 2022.
All current employment equity plans are expected to fall away on 22 September 2022, replaced by the introduction of five-year sector targets
The Department of Employment and Labour said the changes are needed as self-regulation of transformation in the business sector has not worked.
Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment Bill
The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment Bill was introduced to parliament in September 2020 by labour and employment minister Thulas Nxesi.
The bill aims to further formalise the domestic worker sector, allowing for the qualification for benefits under the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.
Until now, domestic workers have been excluded from these benefits – an oversight the government said has gone on for too long.
Under the new laws, domestic workers who are injured at work can claim from the Compensation Fund, and the dependents of a domestic worker who died as a result of injuries incurred while on duty will also be able to claim.
It is also mandatory for employers of domestic workers and employees to contribute to the Unemployment Insurance Fund.
The bill also defines labour broking as part of the “main employer” and holds the main employer responsible for injuries that take place in the workplace.
Division of Revenue Bill
Division of Revenue Bill was tabled with the 2022 budget and looks to distribute revenue across the provinces in South Africa.
The bill’s main aim is the equitable division of revenue raised nationally among the national, provincial and local spheres of government for the 2022/23 financial year.
This includes how much each province, local government and municipality gets from the national pot.
The bill is tabled each year with the national budget, however, substantive changes in the 2022 bill include:
- Clarification of the funding source for additional allocations to provinces and municipalities;
- Expediting spending of transfers funded from the contingency reserve;
- Enforcement measures for transfers made to Eskom and water boards; and
- Finalisation of allocations to municipalities, schools, hospitals and entities from provincial budgets.
The full bill can be found here (4.6MB pdf).