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Nine steps for dealing with HIV-related grievances in the workplace

by , 04 September 2013
In July 2012, the Department of Labour released the revised Code of Good Practice on Key Aspects of HIV and AIDS and Employment and the Technical Assistance Guidelines (TAG). These two legislations provide guidelines to help you manage HIV and AIDS in the workplace. Here are nine steps they suggest you follow to deal with HIV-related grievances in your workplace.

It's vital you deal with HIV-related grievances properly in your workplace.

To do this effectively, make sure you follow the steps outlined by the Code of Good Practice and the TAG.

Dealing with HIV-related grievances? Follow these nine steps

Step 1: Deal with any dispute as quickly as possible.

Step 2: Use ordinary grievance procedures, but ensure all parties are protected by confidentiality clauses.

Grievance procedures mustn't result in the disclosure of your worker's HIV status. If your employee is required to disclose his or her HIV status to effectively deal with a grievance, don't use this information outside of the grievance proceedings, says the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.

Step 3: Give your employees various options to resolve the dispute. This includes set procedures, counselling, moving to an alternative position within the company.

Step 4: Where possible, offer to arrange for an external facilitator to assist to resolve the dispute. This'll help ensure that confidentiality is maintained.

Step 5: If the particular offender has breached your employee's right to privacy, make your employee aware of his rights. For example, his right to institute a civil claim.

Step 6: Put together courses on attitudes and discrimination into your HIV and AIDS awareness programmes. This'll ensure your staff can begin to work through their own fears and prejudices.

Step 7: Ensure your HIV and AIDS programmes are well known within your working environment.

Step 8: Display the grievance procedures in general areas within your workplace; and

Step 9: Provide support to employees who try to resolve disputes using these procedures.

Remember, if the grievance is unresolved, your employee can refer the dispute to the CCMA within six months. Don't let it get to that. Use these steps to deal with HIV-related grievances effectively.

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