Prejudice in the Workplace
Prejudice in the workplace and more specifically during the recruitment process can cost you a lot of money in compensation.
Section 187 (1)(f) of the Labour Relations Act states that any unfair discrimination by an employer against an employee, read job seeker, whether directly or indirectly, on any arbitrary ground including, but not limited to various factors such as:
Ethnic or Social Origins;
Marital Status or Family responsibility;
will be viewed as automatically unfair discrimination.
Exception to Anti-Discrimination
The law makes an exception to its anti-discrimination provisions in instances where you promote your companies affirmative action policy. Affirmative action takes place where an employer takes measures to rectify the imbalances in the workplace experienced by certain groups, i.e. black people, women and people with disabilities, in the past. However there are certain guidelines with regards to affirmative action policies which need to be followed for it to be valid.
Questions You May Not Ask
When you place a job advertisement or when you interview someone, you have to remember that you are not allowed to ask questions that are discriminatory.
The following type of questions should be avoided:
Whether or not the prospective employee has children; Religion; Sexual orientation; Health except if the inherent job requirements are of such a nature that the question is important to ensure that the job seeker will be able to do the work if appointed.
Questions You May Ask
You should only ask questions such as:
the persons qualifications;
questions that relate to the jobs inherent requirements.
Skill Assessments and Psychometric Testing
Psychometric Testing, including aptitude and IQ tests do form part of our labour laws. Only tests validated by the Professional Board for Psychology may be used to assess job candidates
However, it should be noted that prospective employees cannot be turned down for a job due to the fact that they failed a psychometric test.
It is advisable to get a prospective employees consent before you do a reference check on them to protect you from a claim of invasion of privacy.
Prospective employees cannot be forced to give references.
By: Martin Vermaak, Attorney