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Discrimination: What are the different kinds?

by , 27 August 2015
Discrimination in the workplace is generally considered a 'no-no' by law. So it is important that you understand what is, along with all of its different kinds.

Failing to realise this can lead to fines up to R2.7 million or 10% of your turnover PER incident.

So take note of the different kinds of discrimination and know exactly what they are:

Unfair vs fair discrimination: 

Fair discrimination is when you can give valid reasons for the discrimination. Examples include inherent requirement for a particular job or applying Affirmative Action in the workplace.

Unfair Discrimination is more specific and consists of a list that may not be used as the grounds for discrimination. The list includes:

HIV status; 
Ethnic origin;
Family responsibility; 
Union membership; and
Marital status; etc. 

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Direct vs indirect discrimination: 

Direct discrimination consists of treating someone differently based on certain attributes. 

Indirect discrimination, on the other hand, is where a policy is in place and it seems neutral at first glance but in actual fact it discriminates on some grounds.  

For example, overstating the skills required for a particular job can be seen as indiscriminate discrimination despite the fact that the requirements appear to be neutral in promoting the need for inherent skills. This is because by overstating skills you are looking for over-qualified individuals and may exclude many suitable candidates. This would then amount to indirect discrimination. 
So there you have it! There was a basic rundown of the different kinds of discrimination in the workplace.

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