Watch out for these two areas of unfair discrimination so the DoL doesn’t come after you!

Tracey Ndlovu, Practical Guide To Human Resources Management, 28 Apr. 2015

Tags: areas of discrimination, dol, department of labour, employment equity act, unfair discrimination

The Employment Equity Act promotes fair treatment for all workers by removing unfair discrimination. If you're found guilty of unfair discrimination the Department of Labour could fine you up to R2.7 million or 10% of your annual turnover.

You might say unfair discrimination is broad. But there are two important areas you need to specifically watch out for.

Keep reading to see the two areas of discrimination you must eliminate in your company so the Department of Labour doesn't come after you!

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Two areas of discrimination you MUST watch out for to avoid penalties

1. Medical Testing
• You can only do medical testing of an employee when legislation requires it, or when it's justifiable. For example, medical facts, employment conditions, social policy, fair distribution of employee benefits, inherent requirements of a job.
• HIV testing isn't allowed unless it's determined to be justifiable by the Labour Court.
• It is, however, allowed if you are going to help employees with HIV through benefits, policies etc. (Chapter 2, Section 7 of EEA).

2. Psychometric Testing
Psychometric testing and similar assessments are prohibited, unless the test or assessment is:
• Scientifically valid and reliable;
• Can be applied fairly to all employees; and
• Isn't biased against any employee or group (Chapter 2, Section 7 of EEA).

Note: Legally, you may only administer and use medical, psychological and other similar assessments if you're qualified and registered with the appropriate, recognised professional body of South Africa. For example, Health Professionals Council of South Africa, also known as the HPCSA.

Make sure you follow the procedure when conducting the above so you're not accused of unfair discrimination and have to pay hefty penalties to the Department of Labour.

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