Health & Welfare
The objective of this policy is to describe the Municipality policy and procedures of non-discrimination of employees and prospective employees, training programmes and counselling regarding HIV and AIDS.
AIDS/HIV And The Employment Contract
The Municipality will not treat employees or prospective employees with AIDS or are HIV positive differently from other employees. If an employee discloses their status to the Municipality, this will be held in the strictest of confidence.
The Municipality will treat employees and prospective employees in a just, humane and life-affirming way, with due consideration to the interests of fellow employees.
The Municipality acknowledges that continued employment, including appropriate promotion and training opportunities, may be therapeutically important for an employee with a life-threatening condition such as AIDS.
Recruitment, Continued Employment And Termination Of Employment
Any medical examination undertaken either before employment or thereafter will be solely to determine functional performance, and offer a prognosis on the fitness for work of the prospective employee. In this respect:
- An HIV test as a pre-condition of employment shall not be required under any circumstances, or for any position;
- If a person makes their HIV/AIDS status known voluntarily, it shall not be a basis for refusing to conclude, to confirm or to review their employment contract;
- Employees with HIV/AIDS shall be governed by the same contractual obligations as all other employees;
- HIV/AIDS shall not be used as a justification for the non-performance of duties agreed to by the Municipality and the employee; and
- No employee shall be dismissed, retrenched, or have their employment terminated merely on the basis of having a life-threatening condition such as HIV/AIDS.
Promotion, Training And Development
HIV/AIDS status shall not be a criterion for refusing to promote, train and develop an employee who would otherwise be considered.
Ill-Health, Leave And Performance
Following a diagnosis of an employee having HIV/AIDS, the employee and the Municipality may agree jointly on a medical examination to determine the employee's ability to continue to perform their duties.
The Municipality undertakes to ensure that people with HIV/AIDS not only retain their employment but that their health be monitored and, when it is determined by medical opinion that an employee with HIV/AIDS can no longer perform their duties, the following steps should be taken:
- The Municipality will, at the earliest opportunity, through consultation with the employee and medical practitioners, endeavour to find a position that is less strenuous which the individual can fulfil. The employee's remuneration and benefits will be adjusted accordingly to that applicable to the new position, without discrimination;
- Termination of employment may be considered, after consultation with the employee, when an employee with an AIDS related condition is too ill to continue employment, or where a position suitable to the reduced state of health of the employee is unavailable;
- If the Municipality terminates the employment of such employee, merely due to the fact that they are no longer able to continue working, such termination shall be governed by the same procedures pertaining to comparable life-threatening conditions and disabilities (e.g. cancer, etc); and
- No employee shall be dismissed solely on the basis of HIV/AIDS, nor shall the HIV/AIDS status influence retrenchment procedures. No flags or symbols will be used on an employee's medical, personal or other records to indicate the HIV/AIDS status.
The Municipality will not discriminate against any HIV/AIDS employee with regards to the Municipality benefits that are due to them or that they have accrued. Any employee with a life-threatening disease is provided with group life as opposed to a life policy.
Pre-employment testing for HIV will not be permitted under any circumstances because it is:
- Discriminatory, in that it stigmatises prospective employees and infringes their human rights by excluding them from productive employment; and
- Inefficient because of the window period in which HIV antibodies cannot be detected.
The Municipality's Social Responsibility
It shall be the Municipality's policy to handle every case on an individual basis by providing support in any area where the Municipality can be of assistance. All information shall be treated with strictest of confidence.