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Is your company contributing to the rise of homophobia in Africa by discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation?

by , 26 June 2013
Homophobia in sub-Saharan Africa has reached 'dangerous levels' with more countries passing laws criminalising same-sex relations, a report released yesterday by Amnesty International revealed. The rights group revealed homophobic attitudes and attacks on gays were, in some cases, 'fuelled by key politicians and religious leaders who should be using their position to fight discrimination and promote equality', reports iAfrica.com. Is it possible your company is also fuelling homophobia through its policies and practices? Read on to find out how to prevent unfair discrimination based on an employee's sexual orientation.

Did you know that sexual orientation is one of the 20 areas of discrimination you need to prevent in the workplace?

That's right.

Every company has to comply with the Employment Equity Act and eliminate unfair discrimination. And this includes sexual orientation.

'You can't discriminate if the person is a lesbian female, homosexual male or heterosexual male or female. The definition includes transvestites and transsexuals (persons who have undergone surgery to change their gender),' says The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

So ensure your company complies through your policies and practices or be prepared to be hauled to the Equality Court.



Your company's code of conduct could help you prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace

The easiest way to prevent unfair discrimination in your workplace is to make sure you've clearly explained the behaviours that count as unfair discrimination in your company's code of conduct.

According to The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service, your code of conduct must focus on professional standards of behaviour you expect from your employees in your business.

You wouldn't want a situation where your employees say they simply didn't know their language was discriminatory.

So ensure your employees understand your company's code of conduct and the consequences they'll face for discriminating their co-workers because of their sexual orientation.

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