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Annual EE Workshops

The Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) has shared the 22nd Annual Report as mandated within the Section 33 of the Employment Equity Act, 1998. The information shared is a summary of the information captured during the 2021 EE reporting cycle, submitted by designated employers. The data captured by designated employers is used to identify changes in the nationwide workforce profiles compared to previous years, across all occupational levels, and used to set targets for the coming year.

The Department of Employment and Labour has set dates for their annual Employment Equity workshops across the country, which they will be presenting in partnership with the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). The aim of these workshops is the sharing of current data related to employment equity and related matters in the workplace, information on employment equity related disputes and to guide designated employers on how to successfully submit detailed and accurate Employment Equity reports via the online DMISO portal.

In addition, the workshop will focus on the updated Code of Good Practice on the Prevention and Elimination of Harassment in the workplace in Gazette No 46056 which was published in March of 2022 and replaces the 2005 Code of Good Practice on the Handling of Sexual Harassment Cases in the workplace. While the previous Code of Good Practice focused mainly on the handling of sexual harassment in the workplace, the current Code focuses on all types of workplace harassment, including physical, verbal and psychological harassment and extends to hostile teasing, LGBTQIA+ phobic language, workplace and cyber bullying. The Code of Good Practice is celebrated as landmark legislation due to its progressive and inclusive approach to highlighting difficulties experienced by LGBTQIA+ employees.

Workplaces have seen a surprising rise in harassment resulting from the increase in remote and hybrid working environments which resulted from world-wide lockdowns related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The stark rise in reports of online harassment experienced is determined to be because of the online work environment being less supervised, monitored and observed. The Code of Good Practice has taken this type of harassment into account and provides guidance to employees and employers in terms of the handling of this type of cyber bullying or harassment. This will be discussed at length during the Department of Employment and Labour and CCMA workshops which will take place from 17 August 2022 until 15 September 2022.

The 22nd CEE Report has highlighted the fact that there is still a two third majority of employees from the White Population group in the top three occupational levels of designated employers although there was a 1% reduction of this group within the last year. This issue is on-going as very little progress has occurred with designated employers matching the Economically Active Population’s statistics. Other issues included inadequate Barrier Analyses resulting in little implementation of effective affirmative action measures and thus it has been deemed necessary for greater government intervention. The Department of Employment of Labour addressed this with the Employment Equity Amendment Bill of 2020. The CEE report advises that this Bill will likely become law in the next financial year.