New labour law amendments
A RAFT of new labour law amendments published yesterday include provisions to punish employers who contravene employment equity rules with fines of between two and ten percent of their annual turnover.
The draft Employment Equity Amendment Bill removes the maximum fine limit of R900 000 for companies found to be in serial breach of the law on hiring a number of black people, women and the disabled reflecting national and regional demographics.
Under current law that was the highest fine that could be imposed on an employer who contravened the Act four times in three years.
The maximum fine for a first offender was R500 000.
The bill seeks to change this to two percent of annual turnover, while the maximum fine for those guilty of “four previous contraventions in respect of the same provisions within three years” becomes 10 percent of annual turnover.
These provisions are in line with demands from suspended labour director general Jimmy Manyi who has urged tougher penalties for recalcitrant companies. They give the director general the power to apply to the Labour Court to impose fines on companies who fail to prepare and implement equity plans.