Code of good practice on disability in the workplace in South Africa
10. TRAINING AND CAREER ADVANCEMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA
10.1. Employees with disabilities should be consulted so as to develop specific career advancement programmes responsive to their needs and circumstances.
10.2. Training, work organisation and recreational benefits should be accessible to employees with disabilities. Examples are training tools, materials, venues and processes, as well as canteen facilities, parking, crèche and social and sporting activities.
10.3. Systems and practices to evaluate work performance should clearly identify and fairly measure and reward performance of the inherent requirements or essential functions of the job. Work that falls outside the inherent requirements or essential functions of the job should not be evaluated.
11. RETAINING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
11.1. Employees who become disabled during employment should, where practicable, be re-integrated into work .
11.2. If an employee is, or becomes a person with a disability, the employer should keep in touch with the employee and where practicable, encourage early return-to-work. This may be require vocational rehabilitation, transitional work programmes and where appropriate, temporary or permanent flexible working time.
11.3. If an employee is frequently absent from work for reasons of illness or injury, the employer may consult the employee to assess if the cause of the illness or injury is a disability that requires accommodation.
11.4. If practicable, employers should offer alternative work, reduced work or flexible work placement, so that employees are not compelled or encouraged to apply for benefits if they could, with reasonable accommodation, continue in employment.
13. TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA
13.1. If an employee becomes disabled, the employer should consult the employee to assess if the disability can be reasonably accommodated.
13.2. If not, the employer should consult the employee to explore the possibility of alternative employment appropriate to the employee’s capacity.
13.3. If the employee is unable to be accommodated or there is not appropriate alternative employment, the employer may terminate the employment relationship.
13.4. When employees who have disabilities are dismissed for operational requirements, the employer should ensure that any selection criteria do not directly or indirectly unfairly discriminate against people with disabilities.
13.5. Employers who provide disability benefits should ensure that employees are fairly advised before they apply for the benefits available and before resigning from employment because of a medical condition.
14. CONFIDENTIALITY AND DISCLOSURE OF DISABILITY IN SOUTH AFRICA
14.1.1. Employers, including health and medical services personnel, may only gather private information relating to employees if it is necessary to achieve a legitimate purpose.
14.1.2. Employers must protect the confidentiality of the information that has been disclosed and must take care to keep records of private information relating to the disability of applicants and employees confidential and separate from general personnel records.
14.1.3. When an employer no longer requires the information it must be returned to the employee or be destroyed or rendered anonymous.
14.1.4. Employers may not disclose any information relating to a person’s disability without the written consent of the person concerned.
14.2 Employee disclosure
14.2.1 People with disabilities are entitled to keep their disability status confidential. But if the employer is not aware of the disability or the need to be accommodated, the employer is not obliged to provide it.
14.2.2. If the disability is not self-evident the employer may require the employee to disclose sufficient information to confirm the disability or the accommodation needs.
14.2.3. If the employer disputes that the employee is disabled or that the employee requires accommodation, the employer is entitled to request the employee to be tested to determine the employee’s ability or disability, at the expense of the employer.
14.2.4. As information about disability may be technical, employers should ensure that a competent person interprets the information.
14.2.5. If an employer requires further information this must be relevant to a specific job and its essential functions.
14.2.6. If accommodating the employee requires the co-operation of other employees, it may be necessary to reveal the fact of a person’s disability if it is not otherwise obvious, to some of the person’s colleagues, particularly a supervisor or manager.
14.2.7. The employer may, after consulting the person with the disability, advise relevant staff that the employee requires accommodation, without disclosing the nature of the disability, unless this is required for the health or safety of the person with the disability or other persons.