Summary of the Technical Assistance Guidelines on the Employment of People with Disabilities
To assist employers, workers, trade unions and people with disabilities to:
- Clearly understand the Employment Equity Act and the Disability Code.
- Provide practical guidelines on how to implement non-discrimination and affirmative action measures.
To assist employers by helping them to understand:
- Their obligation to implement non-discrimination and affirmative action measures.
- Their right to generate economically viable organisations which provide non-discriminatory services/products.
- The opportunities afforded to them and their organisations through the employment of people with disabilities.
Definition of disability – People who:
- Have a physical or mental impairment.
- Have a long-term or recurring impairment.
- Have an impairment, which substantially limits their prospects of entry into, or advancement in employment.
Reasonable accommodation is:
- modifications or alternations to the way essential functions of a job are normally performed
- accommodation which makes it possible for a suitably qualified person to perform as everybody else.
The TAG provides some examples of these measures which include, but are not limited to:
- assistance in making workplaces more accessible
- workstation modifications
- adjustments to work schedules.
The Tag provides examples of:
- Practical guidelines on how to manage the recruitment process (eg job profiles, advertisements).
- Reasonable accommodation measures to be considered during the selection process (eg short listing, interviews).
The Tag provides clear explanations on how to manage and administer employment testing that:
- Has been scientifically shown to be valid and reliable.
- Can be applied fairly to all workers.
- Is not biased against any worker or group.
The TAG also provide guidelines for employers when administering psychometric tests.
The TAG indicated that:
- Workers with disabilities should not, because of their disabilities, be assigned to a hob with less favourable conditions than that of their able-bodied colleagues.
- Rates of pay or any form of compensation must be the same as that of able-bodied colleagues.
- Placement of workers with disabilities in the workplace must be followed by comprehensive orientation and induction training that must include disability sensitisation training.
- Requires all employers to ensure that their company's training programmes offer clear well-defined career paths for all workers including those with disabilities.
- Gives some practical examples of scenarios with possible solutions to outline the special needs of workers with disabilities during training.
- Also provides some examples of best practices on how to ensure that workers with disabilities are not discriminated against in career advancement.
According to the TAG:
- It is important that termination of employment of a worker who becomes disabled or who is no longer able to do the job is fair both in terms of labour practice and employment equity.
- Guidelines are provided on how to manage the termination process to ensure that it does not discriminate against workers with disabilities.
- Where possible, ever attempt should be made to retain people with disabilities.
Employers should assist all workers, especially those with disabilities, with work related compensation claims in terms of the following legislation:
- Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA)
- Unemployment Insurance Act (UIA)
- Rules governing retirement funds (pensions, provident and retirement annuities)
- Occupational Disease and Injuries Mine Workers Act (ODIMWA)
- Road Accident Act (RAA).
- Information on the disability of a worker should only be gathered for a legitimate purpose with the written consent of the worker concerned.
- The TAG provides guidelines on how to effectively manage confidentiality and disclosure of disability.
Disability should be integrated into the following three phases of the planning process:
- Preparation – assign responsibility, communication and awareness, consultation and analysis
- Implementation – corrective measures and objectives, milestones and resource allocations
- Monitoring – evaluate and review.
Education and awareness programmes should be undertaken to:
- Overcome fears, myths and negative attitudes.
- Orientate state on disability issues.
- Create an understanding for the need of reasonable accommodation.
The TAG encourages employers, workers and trade unions to focus on people's abilities,rather than their disabilities.
Enquiries can be directed to:
Director-General, Department of Labour
Directorate of Employment Equity
Private Bag x117, Pretoria, 001
Tel: 012 309 4142 or 012 409 4120 or 012 309 4333
Fax: 012 309 4709
Provincial Office – Western Cape
Provincial Executive Manager, Department of Labour
PO Box 872, Cape Town, 8000
Thomas Boydell Building, 22 Parade Street, Cape Town
Tel: 021 460 5911
Fax: 021 465 7318