In a previous article, we outlined who must comply with the Employment Equity Act (EEA). One of these groups of people are ‘designated employers’. In this article, we’ll unpack who designated employers are and what are, if any, the specific requirements pertaining to them in terms of complying with the EEA.

 Designated employers decoded

The EEA states that designated employers have more than 50 employees on their books. If an employer has less than 50 employees, but has a turnover of more than the threshold, they will still be a designated employer.

Other designated employers are:

  • Municipalities,
  • Organs of State, and
  • Employers Who Volunteered to be Designated Employers.

What is the Threshold for Turnover in terms of the EEA?

The following is a list of turnover threshold figures for the EEA:

  • Agriculture: R6 million,
  • Mining and Quarrying: R22.5 million,
  • Manufacturing: R30 million,
  • Electricity, Gas and Water: R30 million,
  • Construction: R15 million,
  • Retail, Motor Trade and Repair Services: R45 million,
  • Wholesale Trade, Commercial Agents and Allied Services: R75 million,
  • Catering, Accommodation and Other Trade: R15 million,
  • Transport, Storage and Communications: R30 million,
  • Finance and Business Services: R30 million, and
  • Community, Special and Personal Services: R15 million.

What Do Designated Employers Have to Do?

A designated employer must implement affirmative action measures for designated groups for equity in employment to be achieved. (‘Affirmative action’, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, is: “an active effort to improve the employment or educational opportunities of members of minority groups and women sought to achieve a multicultural staff through affirmative action … a similar effort to promote the rights or progress of other disadvantaged persons.)

The ‘designated groups’, referred to in the previous paragraphs, are:

  1. Black people,
  2. Women, and
  3. People with disabilities.

The persons falling into either category 1, 2 or 3 above must be:

  • South African citizens as they were born in the country or some of their ancestors are/were South African,
  • South African citizens because they were naturalised before 27 April 1994 or after 26 April 1994, or
  • Entitled to get South African citizenship through naturalisation before 27 April 1994 but where excluded based on apartheid policies.