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Eight grounds for unfair discrimination that could see you parting with 10% of your turnover!

by , 06 July 2015
With penalties of R2.7 million or 10% of your turnover, you don't want to be guilty of unfair discrimination in the workplace! Use this guide to make sure you don't have to fork out millions for discrimination.

Keep reading to find out how to avoid unfair discrimination in your company...

Use this guide avoid unfair discrimination in your company
1. Accommodation
You have to make reasonable accommodation for people from designated groups. This is so they have equal opportunities in the workplace. Let's look at how you might need to accommodate employees…
You must have separate toilets for men and women. If possible, have special toilets for disabled employees. You should also cater for people from religious groups who need this. 
2. Appearance
The Employment Equity Act (EEA) doesn't mention physical appearance. But it isn't fair to hire attractive people purely because of their looks. Unless, of course, it's an inherent requirement of the job. This includes models, promoters of beauty and health products etc.
3. Belief
Employees have the constitutional right to embrace any belief system. As long as it doesn't interfere with their jobs. For example, a shoe salesperson can't refuse to sell leather shoes because he thinks it's cruel to kill animals for their skins. 
4. Birth
Do you know you can't hire a person based on how or where they were born? Society generally accepts that in a 'normal birth' the baby is born head first, face down. But, some cultures support the view that anyone born 'unnaturally' is cursed. For example, breech birth. Employers are free to hold personal views on birth. It just doesn't give you the right to discriminate against anyone who wasn't born 'naturally'.

The ONE checklist that'll show you if you're complying with all 26 changes to the Employment Equity Act...
If you don't comply with them, the DoL will be on your case. Employment Equity Act Compliance Toolkit Index
In fact, the DoL could fine you 10% of your turnover or up to R2.7 million!
Now 10% may not seem like a lot, but if your annual turnover is R6 million, you'd be liable to pay the DoL R600,000 for each area of non-compliance!
And if you're non-compliant with five of the changes that could be cost you R3 million. Can you afford to pay such a hefty fine?
That's a lot of money to fork out for something that you can avoid.
But what if I told you it's possible to make sure you're complying with ALL 26 of the new amendments with just one easy-to-use checklist?

5. Conscience
This is when people refuse to do certain tasks because of their belief or conscience. For example, carrying a gun, objecting to serve alcohol or assisting with abortions. They are free to follow their beliefs, it just mustn't interfere with their jobs.
Always specify exactly what you'll need an employee to do. Make sure he understands that serving alcohol or carrying a gun is an inherent requirement of the job. State this in the job ad and tell him again during the interview. Make sure he knows that serving alcohol is a condition of employment. This way, you'll avoid issues if he refuses to do it because of conscious objections.
6. Designated groups
This refers to black people, women and people with disabilities. You must give them preference when you hire and promote employees. Just make sure they still have the qualifications and comply with the job requirements. Giving them preference is 'fair discrimination'. And it's in line with Employment Equity and Affirmative Action.
7. Disability
This is a long-term or recurring physical or mental impairment. And it limits the person's chances of getting a job. Or even advancing in one (Section 1 EEA).
People with disabilities are designated persons. You must give them preference when you hire or promote employees. But they must still have the qualifications and meet the requirements of the job.  Always make sure you give disabled persons the chance to prove they can do the job. 
8. Ethnic origin
You may not reject employees because they belong to the 'wrong' tribe, or the 'wrong' caste, or the 'wrong' clan, etc.
There are another 18 grounds you mustn't discriminate on. Turn to chapter D04: Discrimination in you Labour Law for Managers loose leaf. Still not a subscriber? Click here now.

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priscilla 2016-09-07 16:42:29

In a response to an advert, one person that applied was pregnant and that's fine. However, she said if she got the job, should would want 3 months leave to go overseas. Since we cannot have someone be here for 3 months, overseas for 3 months and then on maternity leave for 4 months, can we refuse this person an interview. This is not based on the fact that she's pregnant but the fact that she wants an inordinate amount of leave before even starting to work for the company.

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