Legislation that should be on your radar for 2023

Employment Equity Report deadline 

A reminder that if you are a “designated” employer, your Employment Equity Report is due by no later than the 15 January 2023. You are likely to be a designated employer if you have 50 or more employees or your annual turnover equals or exceeds the Catering, Accommodation and Other Trade threshold of R15m pa. 

National Minimum Wage – 1st March 2023 to end February 2024 

The Commission will in all probability announce the new national minimum wage early to mid-February 2023. Their report, published in December, confirmed that eight commissioners representing labour, the community and independent experts proposed CPI plus 2%, three commissioners representing business proposed CPI (as at February 2023) and one commissioner, listed as an independent, proposed between CPI plus 0.5% and CPI plus 1% 

Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Control Bill 

The Bill is likely to be published for public comment in January or February 2023. It will probably be of concern to many hospitality establishments. The draft proposes, amongst others, that smoking/vaping will no longer be permitted in designated indoor areas or certain enclosed outdoor areas as defined. All existing indoor smoking areas be they in accommodation establishments, restaurants, pubs, taverns, casino’s, conference centres or function facilities will be required to close and, in terms of the definition of “enclosed”, various existing outdoor enclosed smoking areas will no longer be permitted. 

Occupational Health & Safety Draft Physical Agents Regulations 

Will probably take a while before final publication – perhaps second of third quarter of the year 

The contents of the draft regulation will apply to all employers and highlights various physical agents present in the work place together with employer responsibilities in terms of the management and control of the level of employee exposure to such agents. The physical agents include elements such as cold and heat stress; indoor lighting; air quality; ventilation; vibrations and radiation.   

Exemption Regulations Small, Micro & Medium-Sized Businesses 

The proposed Regulation looks to exempt micro, small and medium-sized enterprises from certain restrictive horizontal and vertical practises as set out in the Competitions Act under sections 4(1) and 5(1). Will probably be finalised during the third quarter of 2023 

Employment Equity Amendment Bill 

According to a media statement released by the Department of Employment and Labour late last year, the proposed amendments will come into operation on the 1 September 2023. It is currently awaiting the president’s signature and has been for quite a while. The amendments will essentially result in two key changes to the Act. Firstly that small business, irrespective of annual turnover, will no longer be required to compile an employment equity plan and secondly it provides the Minister with powers to set specific “sectoral numerical targets” after having consulted with the sector or sectors involved. 

National Gambling Amendment Bill 

Appears to be stalled at the moment. Disagreement between the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. May be sorted out in 2023 and will then quite probably be published for public comment at that time  

Remote Gambling Bill 

A notice was published late last year advising that a Mr Dean Macpherson MP intended introducing the Bill to the National Assembly. The notice provides a broad summary of the contents of the proposed Bill. The Bill itself is not available as yet but will be when introduced in Parliament. Am guessing that this will take quite a while 

Unlawful Entry on Premises Bill 

The aim of the Bill is to repeal and replace the Trespass Act of 1959. The Bill which was published for comment last year, provides for matters such as – definitions; application; unlawful entry;permission; methods of giving notice; signage; Duty to inform; powers of the police and penalties amongst others. Difficult to say if and when the Bill is likely to be addressed and finalised 

Draft Employment Services Amendment Bill 

The Amendment Bill sets out (amongst others) to provide for private employment agencies not operating for gain; to further regulate the employment of foreign nationals; to expand the scope of the Act to cover employees and workers;  to provide for the improved enforcement of the Act and other laws regulating work by foreign nationals. In addition, the proposed Amendment Bill lays out a framework that will enable the Minister to set quotas for the employment of foreign nationals. I would suggest that the Bill will be given high priority this year. 

National Liquor Bill 

The Bill sets out amendments to the National Liquor Act. The changes proposed include restricting advertising of alcohol on public platforms; increasing the legal drinking age from 18 to 21 years; regulating specific trading days and hours for alcohol to be distributed and manufactured and placing liability on alcohol retailers and manufacturers for harm related to the contravention of regulations. The amendments further propose banning alcohol advertising on radio and television at certain times and on billboards less than 100 metres away from junctions, street corners and traffic circles. Being as controversial as it is, it is likely to result in further amendments being proposed and equally likely to take a considerable amount of time to finalise 

Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment Bill 

The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment Bill is currently awaiting the President’s signature. Labour minister Thulas Nxesi introduced the bill to Parliament with the aim of recognising domestic workers as employees eligible for traditional formal workplace benefits. Domestic workers prior to the bill were excluded from occupational benefits such as monetary compensation for injuries or diseases that either occurred or were a result of labour. We can expect the President to sign it into law late 1st quarter or early second quarter 2023 

Companies Amendment Bill 

The proposed bill, which was published for public comment at the end of 2021, will require listed companies to disclose the ratio of the top-paid to the bottom-paid 5% of workers. It also includes a requirement to identify shareholders who are the “true or beneficial” owners of shares in a company. Difficult to forecast the progress of this Bill, if at all, during 2023 

National Health Insurance Bill 

The Bill is currently under consideration by the National Assembly. Will no doubt take some considerable time before a final Act and supporting Regulations are published. However worth keeping an eye on proceeding during 2023 

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