Code of good practice on disability in the workplace in South Africa
7. RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION IN SOUTH AFRICA
7.1.1 When employers recruit they should:
(i) identify the inherent requirements and essential functions of the vacant position;
(ii) describe clearly the necessary skills and capabilities for the job;
(iii) set reasonable criteria for selection, preferably in writing, for job applicants for vacant positions.
7.1.2. The inherent requirements of the job are the purposes for which the job exists. The essential functions and duties of the job are what are necessary to get the job done.
7.1.3. Application forms should focus on identifying an applicant’s ability to perform the essential functions of the job.
7.1.4. Advertisements should be accessible to persons with disabilities and, where practicable, circulated to organisations that represent the interests of people with disabilities.
7.1.5. Advertisements or notices should include sufficient detail about the essential functions and duties of the job so that potential applicants with disabilities can make an informed decision if they meet the inherent requirements of the job.
7.1.6. Employers should not include functions that are not essential to performing the inherent requirements of the job because selection based on non-essential functions may exclude people with disabilities unfairly.
7.1.7. On request, and if reasonably practicable, notices and advertisements should be provided in a format appropriate to persons with disabilities, such as large print, Braille, or audiotape..
7.2.1. Employers should apply the same criteria to test the ability of people with disabilities as are applied to other applicants, although it may be necessary to accommodate applicants who have disabilities.
7.2.2. The purpose of the selection process is to assess whether or not an applicant is suitably qualified. This may require a two-stage process if an applicant has a disability:
(i) Determining whether an applicant is suitably qualified;
(ii) Determining whether a ‘suitably qualified applicant’ needs any accommodation to be able to perform the inherent requirements or essential functions of the job.
7.2.3. When assessing if an applicant is suitably qualified an employer may not request information about actual or perceived disability from a previous employer or third party.
7.2.4. Employers should monitor their criteria for selection. If they tend to exclude people with disabilities, they should be reviewed to ensure that inappropriate barriers to persons with disabilities are removed.
7.3.1. Selection interviews should be sensitive, objective and unbiased. Interviewers should avoid assumptions about people with disabilities.
7.3.2. If an applicant has disclosed a disability or has a self-evident disability, the employer must focus on the applicant’s qualifications for the work rather than any actual or presumed disability but may enquire and assess if the applicant would, but for the disability, be suitably qualified.
7.3.3. Interviewers should ask all applicants to indicate how they would accomplish the inherent requirements of the job and perform its essential functions and if accommodation is required.
7.3.4. If the employer knows in advance that an applicant has a disability the employer should be prepared to make reasonable accommodation during the interview.
7.4 Conditional job offers
7.4.1. If an applicant with a disability is suitably qualified, an employer may make a job offer conditional on medical or functional testing to determine an applicant’s actual or potential ability to perform the essential functions of a specific job.
7.4.2. The testing must comply with the statutory requirements and be consistent with measuring if the applicant is able to perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation.
7.4.3. An employer may test applicants with disabilities for a specific job and not require all other applicants to undergo testing.
7.4.4. If the testing shows that accommodation requirements would create unjustifiable hardship, or that there is an objective justification that relates to the inherent requirements of the job or to health and safety, the employer may withdraw the job offer.
7.5 Terms and conditions of employment
7.5.1. An employer may not employ people with disabilities on less favorable terms and conditions for reasons connected with the disability.