SA law protects those with HIV
South Africa | Other
December 1 is the date chosen to mark World Aids Day. The day encourages people to deal with prejudice and to create awareness about HIV.
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome affect all sectors of society, including the work place. Southern Africa is particularly affected because of its high rate of HIV infection.
South African law protects HIV-positive people and people living with Aids in the workplace. Employers are required to construct a supportive work environment where such employees are safeguarded from discrimination and are able to work for as long as they are medically fit to do so.
Section 54(1)(a) of the Employment Equity Act (EEA) protects HIV-infected people and those people living with HIV-Aids. This section provides that no person may be unfairly discriminated against on the basis of their HIV status.
Section 6(1) of the act provides that no person may unfairly discriminate against an employee in any employment policy or practice, on the basis of their HIV status.
In addition, no employee can be forced to take an HIV test, unless the Labour Court has declared that such testing is justifiable.
Section 187(1)(f) of the Labour Relations Act protects the employment of employees with the illness. It provides that an employee with HIV-Aids may not be dismissed because of their status.
Section 14 of the Constitution guarantees everyone the right to privacy. This includes any person infected with HIV-Aids.
The Constitution requires employers to promote a non-discriminatory environment that accords with an open, free and transparent society.
Employers are required to adopt the necessary measures to ensure that employees with HIV-Aids are not unfairly discriminated against and are protected from victimisation.
Employers, in consultation with trade unions, must facilitate HIV-Aids education, training and awareness, and promote de-stigmatisation and support structures for employees.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.
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