Labour law and disability in South Africa prevents discrimination in the workplace. Around 5 million South Africans have a disability. That is about one in every ten person. Less than 1 percent are employed and this is why we need to take action.
The employment equity Act states that people with disabilities are people that have a long term or physical impairment. If the disability limits their employment opportunities, there is support through organizations who offer training and learnerships.
People with disabilities are protected through the Employment Equity Act, No.55. the act protects people with disabilities against discrimination and allows them to take action if they are affected in the workplace.
Discrimination still exists
Unfortunately discrimination still exists due to fear, ignorance and stereotypes. Because of the stigma, most people with disabilities will experience high rates of unemployment.
Unfair discrimination is seen in many areas:
- Exclusion of people with disabilities through employment criteria – must have own vehicle and be able to drive.
- Low pay and low job position without promotion opportunities
- Lack of accessibility for wheelchairs
- No training or learnerships for people with disabilities
- No technical support from employees
- Stigma and bias
The Government is taking action against discrimination against people with disabilities through the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. Areas such as rehabilitation, accessibility and political participation is being covered. This will reduce inequality and discrimination of people with disabilities.
Funding and Grants from Government
Presently, there is a total of 981 331 people in South Africa with disabilities.
Employees with disabilities are an asset
According to statistics, people with disabilities who have jobs are reliable and never take days off. They take off fewer sick days and are very grateful for the opportunities given them. Labour law and discrimination does reduce discrimination against the disabled community.