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Employment Equity 101: Two instances where discrimination is fair

by , 13 August 2014
Believe it or not, but there are instances where discrimination in the workplace is fair.

While the Employment Equity Act (EE Act) is against discrimination in the workplace, it also states that there are two exceptional circumstances where discrimination is justified.

Don't believe us?

Read on to find out about these two instances and what's required from you so you can comply with the EE Act and achieve employment equity.

Discrimination is fair in these two instances
 

#1: Discrimination is fair if it's on the grounds of inherent requirements of the job

It's fair to discriminate against colour-blind people when selecting pilots, or against people who have a flaking skin condition when employing people in a food preparation facility.

When we talk about inherent requirements of the job we mean these are the requirements that someone must meet to do the job or do it according to generally accepted standards.

For example, a Pope must be Catholic, a wet nurse must be a woman and airline pilots can't be blind.

There's one more instance where discrimination is fair…
 

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There are 26 changes to Employment Equity Act you must comply with in 2014...

If you don't comply with them, the DoL will be on your case.

In fact, the DoL could fine you 10% of your turnover or up to R2.7 million!

Discover how to check if you're complying with all of them to avoid crippling DoL fines.
 

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One more instance where discrimination is fair
 

#2: Discrimination is fair if it's on the grounds of affirmative action

This involves giving preference to people from 'designated groups' if they meet the inherent requirements of the job, although they aren't the best candidate for the job.

The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service explains that it's fair to discriminate in a situation where two candidates have similar or virtually equal qualifications. Here, you can select the candidate from a designated group over the candidate from a non-designated group. But this must be in line with your Employment Equity Plan.

There you have it: The ONLY time you can justify workplace discrimination is if you base it on these two grounds - under normal circumstances, don't discriminate. Now that you know this bit of information, comply with the EE Act and achieve employment equity.

 



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