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Is your company discriminating employees in these five areas?

by , 10 June 2013
According to the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management, your company could be unknowingly discriminating against employees. And this could be because of your company policies and practices. Read on to find out the five areas your company could be discriminating employees so you can guard against it...

The Employment Equity Act outlines five areas in which your company could be discriminating employees unknowingly. If your company is found discriminating employees, you could face a fine of up to R900 000 for non-compliance with the Employment Equity Act.

But there's a way to ensure this isn't happening in your company.

To ensure you don't discriminate in these five areas, check all of your company policies and practices.

How to use company polices to avoid discrimination in these five areas

The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management advises you look for the following areas to ensure your company polices aren't discriminatory. These policies and practices include:

  1. Religion. Your workplace must be accessible to people from all religions if they're suitably qualified and comply with the inherent requirements of the job. You should try to accommodate people from different religions, but not if it'll have a negative effect on productivity and general morale.
  2. Race. You can't discriminate unfairly against anyone because of race. Remember, it's not considered unfair discrimination if you implement Affirmative Action measures to ensure people from previously disadvantaged groups have equal opportunities and are equitably represented in your company.
  3. HIV status. You're not allowed to unfairly discriminate against anyone because of their HIV status. 'You can't test employees and applicants to determine their HIV status unless the Labour Court has ruled that the test is justifiable because of an inherent requirement of a job,' says the Loose Leaf.
  4. Colour. It's unfair to discriminate against an applicant or employee purely because of skin colour. But, there are exceptions, for example if you're looking for someone to promote skin-lightening products. You could choose a light-skinned black person because of the inherent requirement of the assignment.
  5. Language. South Africa has 11 official languages. This means you can't discriminate against employees because of their language, unless the ability to read, write or speak a particular language is an inherent requirement for a job.

By checking your company policies and practices' you can ensure your company isn't unknowingly discriminating against employees.

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