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Employment Equity Act, 1998 (Act No. 55 of 1998)

Code of Good Practice

HIV and Aids and the World of Work



HIV and AIDS continue to negatively impact on the livelihoods of millions of persons living with or affected by the epidemic in South Africa. Within the world of work, HIV and AIDS impact severely on productivity as a consequence of ill health resulting in increased absenteeism, low morale, and increased staff turnover due to early deaths and possibly a change in markets and demands for services.


In 2000, South Africa published a Code of Good Practice on Key Aspects of HIV and AIDS and Employment (the Code) in line with the Employment Equity Act. The Code's primary objective was to guide employers, workers and trade unions to develop and implement HIV and AIDS workplace policies and programmes. The Code was intended to protect and promote mutual respect, dignity and the workers' rights through the elimination of unfair discrimination against people living with or affected by HIV and AIDS.


This Code has been utilised and referred to extensively in the development and implementation of HIV and AIDS workplace Policies and Programmes. It has also been taken into account in some of the judgments by the Courts in cases of unfair discrimination in relation to HIV.


Subsequent to the adoption of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Recommendation concerning HIV and AIDS and the World of Work, 2010 (No. 200), South Africa as a member state took a decision to review its Code and align it to the ILO Recommendation. The revised Code seeks to assist employers, workers and their organizations in developing appropriate responses in order to manage HIV and AIDS, TB and STIs in the world of work within the framework of decent work in both the formal and informal sectors and in the public and the private sectors.


In line with the ILO Recommendation No. 200, this Code provides for further emphasis on the fundamental human rights of all workers, including the principle of gender equality and the broadening of the scope to cover all those involved in the world of work.