The Commission for Employment Equity, a statutory body whose roles include advising the Minister of Labour on matters concerning the Employment Equity Act (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”), is established in accordance with Section 28 of the Employment Equity Act. The Commission’s roles include making policy recommendations and advising on issues concerning the implementation towards achieving the Employment Equity Act’s objectives.
The Commission consists of a chairperson and eight (8) other members appointed by the Minister to hold office on a part-time basis.
The members of the Commission must include:
- Two (2) individuals nominated by those voting members of NEDLAC who represent organised labour.
- Two (2) individuals nominated by those voting members of NEDLAC who represent organised business.
- Two (2) individuals nominated by those voting members of NEDLAC who represent the State.
- Two (2) individuals nominated by those voting members of NEDLAC who represent the organisations of community and development interests in the Development Chamber within NEDLAC.
The Minister must appoint a member of the Commission to act as chairperson whenever the office of chairperson is vacant. The members of the Commission must choose from among themselves a person to act in the capacity of chairperson during the temporary absence of the chairperson.
The Minister may determine:
- The term of office for the chairperson and each member of the Commission, but no member’s term of office may exceed five (5) years.
- The remuneration and allowances to be paid to members of the Commission with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance and any other conditions of appointment not provided for in this section.
The chairperson and members of the Commission may resign by giving at least one (1) month’s written notice to the Minister.
The Minister may remove the chairperson or a member of the Commission from office for:
- Serious misconduct.
- Permanent incapacity.
- That person’s absence from three (3) consecutive Commission meetings without the chairperson’s prior permission, except on good cause shown.
- Engaging in any activity that may undermine the integrity of the Commission.
It is the function of the Commission to advise the Minister on the following:
- Codes of Good Practice issued by the Minister in terms of Section 54.
- Regulations made by the Minister in terms of Section 55.
- Policy and any other matter concerning the Act.
In addition to the functions above, the Commission may:
- Make awards recognising employers’ achievements in furthering the Act’s purpose.
- Research and report to the Minister on any matter relating to the application of this Act, including appropriate and well-researched norms and benchmarks for setting numerical goals in various sectors and performing any other prescribed function.
Further to the above, the Commission must also submit an annual report to the Minister of Labour at a prescribed time. Subject to the laws governing the public service, the Minister must provide the Commission with the staff necessary to perform its functions. In performing its functions, the Commission may call for written representations from members of the public and hold public hearings at which it may permit members of the public to make oral representations.
By Porthri Blauw
Dispute Resolution Official at Consolidated Employers Organisation (CEO SA)