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What are designated groups according to the Employment Equity Act?

by , 20 February 2014
When you read South Africa's the Employment Equity Act No 55 of 1998, you're bound to come across these two words: 'Designated groups'. If you want to comply with the Act, it's crucial you understand what the Act means by these words...

The Employment Equity (EE) Act requires you to achieve equity in your workplace. And it says you can do this by doing these two things:

  1. Don't discriminate; and
  2. Implement Affirmative Action (AA).

The EE Act goes on to say, 'every company has to eliminate discrimination, BUT only designated employers have to implement AA.'

This means if you're a designated employer, you must put AA measures in place to make sure designated groups are equally represented in your company.

But how do you tell if your company is following the Act's guidelines for designated groups?

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Now back in two major cities with updated amendments to the Employment Equity Act!
 
Employment Equity Plan half–day Workshop 2014

Draw up your EE plans quickly and easily in line with the new provisions to the Employment Equity Act!
 
 

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The amendments to the Employment Equity Act now defines designated groups as follows

The EE Act says:

The beneficiaries of affirmative action, also known as designated groups, are limited to black people, women and people with disabilities who:
  • are citizens of the Republic of South Africa by birth or descent; or 
  • became citizens of the Republic of South Africa by naturalisation – 
    (i) before 27 April 1994; or
    (ii) after 26 April 1994, who would have been entitled to acquire citizenship by naturalisation prior to that date but were      precluded by Apartheid policies.
Note: African, Coloured or Indian people who are foreign nationals and entered South Africa after 1994 can't be categorised as designated groups. You should record them under foreign nationals on your EE Plan and your EE Report.

The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service explains that in a landmark judgment issued in Pretoria on 18 June 2008, the High Court ruled that South African citizens of Chinese descent automatically qualify for the full benefits of the country's EE and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment legislation. And that means you need to include South African citizens of Chinese descent as Coloured in your report.

Now that you know the meaning of designated groups make sure you comply with the EE Act if you're a designated employer.

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