People & Development

HIV / AIDS - Policy

Scope

This policy will be applicable to all employees of the employer, both hourly and monthly paid. This policy is in accordance with the following laws:
  • The Constitution of RSA Act 108 of 1996.
  • Employment Equity Act.
  • Equality Bill.
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
  • Labour Relations Act.
  • Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.

Information and Development Strategy

HIV/AIDS awareness will be driven as a business imperative. This policy will furthermore be driven in line with the employer’s values of respect, trust, non-discrimination and high quality standards in all aspects of our business.

Awareness Creation

HIV/AIDS awareness programmes will have the objectives of:
  • Imparting basic knowledge of the disease and information on prevention of the disease, (education & prevention).
  • Eliminating discrimination against persons with HIV and AIDS through dispelling any ignorance about the disease and its mode of transmission, (de-stigmatisation).
  • Provision of information stating rights of and services available to affected employees, (empowerment).
  • Protection of persons potentially exposed to HIV/AIDS in the pursuance of their duties, (occupational education).

Confidentiality

Employees with HIV/AIDS have the right of confidentiality and privacy concerning their health and HIV/AIDS status. Employees with HIV/AIDS are not required to disclose their status to the employer. However, if any employees decide to disclose their HIV/AIDS status in confidence to any colleague, supervisor or manager within the employer, it is expected that the principle of confidentiality of such disclosure be adhered to. A medical practitioner maintains absolute confidentiality of all records relating to the personal health and HIV/AIDS status of employees, which by law may not be disclosed to any other person without the written consent of the employee. The Human Resource Department should be accountable for the supervision, maintenance, confidentiality and security of employees’ personal files. The employer's employees, who have been entrusted with confidential information about any other employee in the scope of their employment, will be subject to disciplinary action should they breach such confidentiality.

Support and Assistance

Counselling services will be made available for all employees with HIV/AIDS. Where it is practical and physically possible, employees will be encouraged to participate in counselling of their own choice. In order to convert the awareness campaign described herein to results, it is essential to encourage behavioural changes amongst employees. The best way in which this can be achieved is through:
  • Education
  • Knowing their status (testing)
  • Counselling to reinforce the above two

Testing

Voluntary Anonymous Incidence Monitoring
Epidemiological incidence monitoring of HIV infection will be undertaken with employee participation invited on a voluntary, anonymous and linked basis. This would be used to identify areas for strategic preventative education and information programme planning and to assess the efficiency of awareness programmes. Anonymity will at all times be ensured and preserved. Pre-test and post-test counselling will be done for all employees who wish to undergo HIV/AIDS testing.

Confidentiality of Test Results
At no time shall management attempt to ascertain, nor demand that an employee reveal their HIV status to them.

Non-Discrimination

The employer is committed to fair, sound and non-discriminatory employment practices.  Employees, who choose to disclose their HIV status will not be prejudiced, victimised or discriminated against on account thereof.  An employee's HIV status shall not justify termination of employment, retrenchment, demotion, transfer or discrimination in employment.  The compulsory conditions of service including pension/provident fund, medical aid, sick leave, training and development will continue as amended from time to time.

Co-Workers

All employees will receive information on HIV/AIDS and the realities, misconceptions and circumstances of working with HIV positive co-workers.  In an effort to alleviate fears and concerns of co-workers who become reluctant, unwilling or resist working with an HIV positive colleague, they will be counselled and cautioned that their attitude is unwarranted, unreasonable and not medically or scientifically justified.

Employment Practices

Employees who are HIV positive will be subjected to the same contractual obligations, employment practices and performance measurements as other employees.  Both employees and the employer have the statutory duty to provide, maintain and ensure a safe working environment.

Ill-Health Retirement

Pension Fund
Should the employer provide a pension fund benefit, the standard conditions and requirements of the relevant rules and insurance policies of the employer pension fund are applied to members who are HIV positive.

Permanent Disability
No benefits will be payable in respect of disablement arising from any ailment (including any life threatening illness, e.g. HIV/AIDS, cancer, ulcers, etc.) which occurred during the thirty six months immediately preceding the date of employment if such ailment leads to disability within thirty six months from date of employment.

Monthly Disability Income
No benefit will be payable in respect of disablement arising from any ailment (including any life threatening illness, e.g. HIV/AIDS, cancer, ulcers, etc.) which occurred during the six months immediately preceding the date of employment if such ailment leads to disability within twelve months from date of employment.

Provident Fund
Should the employer provide a provident fund benefit, the standard conditions and requirements of the relevant rules and insurance policies of the employer provident fund are applied to members who have contracted HIV/AIDS.

Review

This policy will be reviewed annually in accordance with medical, scientific and legal development within the field.

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