Studies show that a significant portion of the country's workforce is HIV-positive. This is a scary thought when you think about how vital your employees are to your business. That said, today an HIV-positive diagnosis is no longer a death sentence, with medical advancements and healthy lifestyles enabling individuals to live long, fulfilling lives. As an employer, there's a lot you can do to make sure your HIV-positive employees are not only healthy and productive, but stay motivated by your concern for their (and their families') health and wellbeing.
It's a given that, if not managed properly HIV/AIDS may affect the productivity, profitability and sustainability of SMEs. If you have HIV-positive employees, the Code of Good Practice: Key aspects of HIV/AIDS and Employment, provides clear guidelines on how to put policies in place that will protect your rights as the employer and your workers' rights. It explores issues of employee discrimination, dealing with sick leave and absenteeism, of Voluntary Counselling and Testing, and various other issues dealing with HIV/AIDS at work.
There are many myths surrounding HIV/AIDS prevention, transmission and treatment. And as soon as one is cleared up, another one will rear its ugly head. Here are some common myths surrounding HIV/AIDS and what the real story is. The expression "don't believe everything you hear" is especially true when it comes to HIV/AIDS. Here are some of the longest-standing and most common untruths about the disease.
With SMEs usually having a small staff, the environment becomes quite intimate and your employees often feel like an extended family. So it's not surprising that a worker's death can sometimes be very difficult to deal with, particularly if the death was sudden and tragic. Accepting the death of an employee can be difficult for both you and your other employees. Here are a few suggestions to help you adjust with as little disruption to your business as possible.
HIV/AIDS is a stark reality in South Africa and if it hasn't already, it may eventually affect your business in some way. In order to protect your own rights as well as those of your employees, it is important to be familiar with the various labour laws pertaining to HIV/AIDS and how to deal with HIV-positive employees. This article acts as an overview of the relevant labour legislation and guidelines for employee/employer relations.
Statistics show that
Many HIV-positive people are still abused and shunned by their co-workers and employers, due to the misperceptions people have concerning HIV/AIDS. This article aims to combat discrimination by dispelling some common myths around the disease. The stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS is caused by a lack of accurate information. Educate yourself and your employees about HIV/AIDS and make sure your work environment is accepting of HIV-positive employees.
We are a non-profit organisation (NPO). We provide a confidential, anonymous 24 hour toll-free telephone counselling, information, and referral service for people infected with and affected by HIV. The national AIDS helpline is run by LifeLine. We have a specialised treatment line which is manned by professional nurses. The staff of the treatment line provide quality, accurate and anonymous telephone information, education on antiretroviral (ARV), TB, and STI treatment.
New Start is a health programme run by the Society for Family Health (SFH) that focuses on providing no-cost, high quality services to prevent HIV and TB. Our aim is to ensure that people who cannot afford to pay for private healthcare receive excellent care. The New Start programme was launched in 2004 and operates in areas of the Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. We offer HIV counselling and testing (HCT) services as well as medical male circumcision (MMC) services.
Siyakhana Health Trust is a public benefit organization registered in South Africa to provide health management support to small and medium sized businesses through innovative public-private partnerships. We focus on providing holistic workplace health management to our partner or member SMEs through operationalising the World Health Organisation’s Healthy Workplaces Model in the Border-Kei Region of the Amathole District.
With HIV/AIDS being so prevalent in
We are an intersectional feminist organization and our mission is to ensure that young womxn and girls enjoy substantive equality, with access to resources and opportunities that enable this. We promote a society where all people share a common humanity, a respect for human rights, and a fair allocation of resources. As an intersectional feminist organization, we recognize the multiple and interconnecting oppressions experienced by womxn through supremacies that include race, gender and class.
SABCOHA’s strategic goal at inception was to co-ordinate the South African business sector in the development of strategies to create a platform for high-level advocacy and leadership and to develop policies and programmes based on universal good practice that can be applied both in and outside the workplace. SABCOHA exists to mobilise and empower business in South Africa to take effective action on Health and AIDS in the workplace and beyond.
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) was founded in December 1998 to campaign for access to AIDS treatment. It is widely acknowledged as one of the most important civil society organisations active on AIDS in the developing world. Today the TAC continues to represent users of the public healthcare system in South Africa, and to campaign and litigate on critical issues related to the quality of and access to healthcare. The organisation currently has over 8,000 members and a network of 182 branches and provincial offices in seven of South Africa’s nine provinces.
If an employee discloses to you that they are HIV-positive, you may not know how to react and what this could mean for the company. This article will help you react appropriately, both from an emotional and legal standpoint. To do so, the article provides the SME owner with tips on how to deal with the disclosure of an HIV-positive worker, both on a personal level as well as with regards to labour law and the Code of Good Practice: Key Aspects of HIV/AIDS and Employment.
While we may know about HIV/AIDS, SME owners are beginning to realise that it may become a threat to their businesses if not managed correctly. The death of employees, absenteeism due to illness, and even customers and service providers being lost to AIDS-related illnesses, means that we can no longer sit back and do nothing. Finding a way to help your employees is not as hard as you think. All it takes is a little motivation and a lot of support and information.
With the potential effect the mismanagement of HIV/AIDS can have on businesses both big and small, it's important that you have the correct policies in place on how you will deal with HIV/AIDS in your company. This is not only a moral issue, but Labour Law legislates that all companies have a working HIV/AIDS policy. So where do you begin? Statistics show that SMEs are the hardest hit by HIV, with 10-40% of employees being HIV-positive. With that in mind, if you do not have an HIV/AIDS policy, it's time that you face the reality of the situation and find proactive ways of dealing with it, for your employees' sake and to protect the livelihood of your business.