1. Our position.
The FPASA acknowledges the seriousness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in South Africa and its significant impact on the workplace and organisation.
We share the understanding that HIV/AIDS is a chronic, life threatening disease with social, economic and human rights implications that can impact on employees and the organisation. The direct and indirect costs and potential loss of employees poses a relevant threat to the Association in the increasingly competitive market in which we operate.
We also acknowledge that present medical opinion indicates there is no known risk of AIDS transmission through casual or close contact that occurs during normal work activities.
The virus is fragile and has been found to be transmitted only through the intimate exchange of body fluid such as blood or blood contaminated tissue fluids such as semen or vaginal fluid.
2. Our commitment.
- HIV testing is not a pre-requisite for employment and testing will not be conducted by FPASA.
- Employees living with HIV/AIDS have the same rights and obligations as other employees and will be protected against all forms of unfair discrimination.
- No employee is compelled to disclose their HIV/AIDS status. Any person to whom information has been disclosed, even voluntarily, is legally required to keep this information confidential.
- No person will be compelled to undergo an HIV/AIDS test. Any staff undergoing voluntary testing should ensure suitable pre- and post test counselling.
- Medical assistance will be provided for employees with HIV in accordance with the rules of the medical aid scheme and the individual’s level of membership.
- An employee with HIV/AIDS is expected to meet the same performance requirements that apply to other staff. Any changes to work conditions or arrangements will be considered and treated as with any other employee with a disability.
- Should an employee no longer be able to continue to work due to ill health, the pension fund rules governing retirement due to ill health or disability will apply as appropriate.
- The FPASA will follow the process of medical research on HIV/AIDS infection, and this document will be reviewed accordingly should there be any significant developments.
3. Protection against discrimination on the basis of HIV/AIDS.
- No employee, either with, or perceived to have HIV/AIDS, may be unfairly discriminated against and must be treated in a fair, just and humane manner.
4. AIDS education/awareness.
- Due to the limited size of the FPASA, awareness regarding general information and education regarding HIV/AIDS will be conducted via peer education.
- Work related aspects, such as the prevention of exposure to blood or blood products and entitlements/limitations of medical aid and pension cover will be addressed through more formal training.
5. Health and Safety.
The risk of HIV infection in the workplace is managed through the following means:
- Procedures to reduce the risk to staff and clients following injuries involving blood and potential exposure to blood borne pathogens – See Annexure 1.
- Ensuring designated staff have suitable first aid skills and understand the necessary precautions.
- Ensuring emergency care and treatment for persons following HIV exposure during their normal duties.