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Part 1: Nine discriminatory selection practices you MUST avoid in your workplace

by , 31 January 2014
You're not allowed to discriminate against employees. This includes job applicants. Make sure you avoid discriminating against job applicants on the following nine grounds.

Today the spotlight is on discrimination.

We'll give you nine discriminatory selection practices you must avoid in your workplace. In the next article, we'll give you additional practices you must avoid when recruiting.

When recruiting, make sure you avoid discriminating between candidates on any one of the nine grounds listed below:

#1: Race. Our Constitution prohibits discrimination based on race. This is also supported by labour laws that make it very clear that you can't discriminate against applicants based on race.

#2: Religion. 'No employer is entitled to discriminate against an employee or applicant for employment purely on the grounds of the employee's religion,' says Labour Guide.

#3: Gender. It's against the law to, for example, turn down a woman for a job as a mechanic because you believe a man can do the job better.

#4: Political opinion. Don't discriminate against a job applicant because he supports a political party that you don't support.

Keep reading to find out the other five grounds...


Too many employers lose their cases at the CCMA because of technical or procedural slip-ups...

Even when the employee was guilty of misconduct. You can protect yourself against this risk if you get it right. This applies not only to dismissals, but to things like warnings and references as well.


#5: Trade union affiliation. You can't refuse a person a job because he belongs to a union or indicates his intention to join a union.

#6: Pregnancy. The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service says unless you can prove job continuity is an essential requirement of the job, it would be very risky to turn down an applicant on the grounds of her pregnancy.

#7: Marital status. If for instance, you prefer to hire single women because for some reason you believe they're more loyal than married women, you'll be guilty of discrimination.

#8: Family responsibility. Discriminating against a candidate merely because he or she has family obligations is unfair.

To be on the safe side, don't ask about the applicant's family responsibility; instead, ask whether the candidate can do the job.

#9: Ethnic or social origin. You're not allowed to discriminate against an applicant because of his background, country of origin or socio-economic status.

That's not all. Lookout for part two of this article as we'll give you additional discriminatory selection practices you must avoid.

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