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Race isn't the only area of discrimination to avoid in employment equity!

by , 25 February 2013
With BEE constantly making headlines, it's no wonder many companies scramble to get their employment quotas looking fair based on race. But don't forget the other areas of discrimination under employment equity laws - you could be discriminating against employees and job applicants without knowing it!

Last week, Mamphela Ramphele spoke of black economic empowerment (BEE) and how it risks undermining a post-apartheid South Africa, reports the Mail & Guardian Online.

Ramphele said a system that didn't take colour into account would be the most effective.

Hence her political movement Agang is proposing restructuring the economy because BEE takes us back to having to classify people.
'If we train everybody properly, if we educate everybody properly, we will not need to count how many black heads there are,' says Ramphele in the article.
But for now, BEE is a legal reality as part of employment equity.
And employment equity's not just about discrimination based on race.

There are 20 areas of discrimination related to employment equity!

You might have your company's race quotas up to scratch, but have you remembered the other 19 areas of discrimination?
These include gender, sex, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, disability, pregnancy, marital status, family responsibility, ethnic or social origin, colour, HIV status, conscience, belief, political opinion, culture, language, criminal record or birth, explains the Department of Labour.
This gives employees and job applicants a great deal of room to claim for discrimination, says FSP Business.

Never ask job applicants these three questions or you could be accused of discrimination!

You can avoid this by making sure the following three questions are scratched from your company's job applicant interview process, says the Labour Bulletin:

1. What is your HIV status?
Don't ask this unless there's an inherent requirement of the job for which the candidate shouldn't be HIV-positive, like contact sports, for example.
2. Have you ever been arrested?
The only time a previous criminal record plays a factor is if you're employing in the banking and finance sector.
3. What are your religious beliefs?
The only time this would be acceptable is if you're employing a potential minister, priest, imam or rabbi.
If any of these questions are part of your company's current job applicant interview process and not an inherent requirement for the job, get rid of them immediately.
You'll avoid being taken to the CCMA for asking a question seen as discrimination and avoid paying thousands in compensation as a result!

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