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Fair Treatment

This page was last updated on: 2021-01-15

Equal Pay

There is no explicit provision in the labour laws concerning equal pay for equal work. An employer is required to take steps to promote opportunity in the workplace by eliminating unfair discrimination in any employment policy or practice (which includes, among others, remuneration, employment benefits and terms and conditions of employment). In accordance with the amended Employment Equity Act, a difference in terms and conditions of employment between employees of the same employer performing the same or substantially the same work or work of equal value that is directly or indirectly based on any one or more of the grounds listed in the law (which include among others gender), is unfair discrimination. The Employment Equity Regulations provide for equal wages for work of equal value.
Source: §5 & 6(4) of the Employment Equity Act 1998, last amended in 2013

Non-Discrimination

In accordance with article 09 of the South African Constitution, all persons are equal before law and they may not be discriminated on the grounds of race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth. The law also prohibits anti-union discrimination by employers.

The Employment Equity Act also prohibits direct or indirect discrimination against an worker in any employment policy or practice on any of the following grounds: Race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, family responsibilities, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, HIV status, conscience, belief, political opinion, culture, language, and birth or on any other arbitrary ground.. However it is not unfair discrimination to take affirmative action (to support a neglected group)or distinguish, exclude or prefer any person on the basis of an inherent requirement of a job. Medical testing to determine a worker’s HIV status is prohibited.

Source: §9 of the South African Constitution, 1996; § 6-7 of the Employment Equity Act 1998, last amended in 2013

 

Non-Standard Workers' Rights on Equal Treatment - Platform workers

In accordance with article 09 of the South African Constitution, all persons are equal before law and they may not be discriminated on the grounds of race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth. The law also prohibits anti-union discrimination by employers. The Employment Equity Act also prohibits direct or indirect discrimination against an worker in any employment policy or practice on any of the following grounds: Race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, family responsibilities, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, HIV status, conscience, belief, political opinion, culture, language, and birth or on any other arbitrary ground.

In line with article 23(1) of the Constitution of South Africa, everyone has the right to fair labour practices. The self employed or independent contractors do not enjoy protection against unfair discrimination under the Employment Equity Act as the legislation only applies to employees or applicants for employment. However, self employed are equally protected under the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 2000. The legislation also prohibits discrimination on the following grounds: 

race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status. ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience. belief, culture. language and birth; or (b) any other ground where discrimination based on that other ground that causes or perpetuates systemic disadvantage or undermines human dignity or adversely affects the equal enjoyment of a person’s rights and freedoms in a serious manner that is comparable to discrimination on a ground, as explained above.

Equal Choice of Profession

Women can work in the same industries as men as no restrictive provisions are present in South African labour laws. In accordance with article 22 of the Constitution, every citizen has the right to choose their trade, occupation or profession freely. The practice of a trade, occupation or profession may be regulated by law.

 

Regulations on Fair Treatment

  • Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 (amended in 2002 & 2013)
  • Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996
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