Employment equity : guidelines for the recruitment and selection of people with disabilities in the open labour market

Smit, Karen (2001-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Until very recent people with disabilities in South Africa were an overlooked and under-utilised pool of labour. Disabled people have been denied the chance to participate in employment opportunities by becoming economically active and hence contributing towards the economy of the country. This is because employers were seldom or never exposed to the employment of disabled people in the open labour market. The result is that employers are uninformed about the benefits of recruiting disabled candidates. Since the establishment of a new democratic order in South Africa in 1994, new legislation that protects the rights of disabled people was implemented. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (No 108 of 1996), the Labour Relations Act (No 66 of 1995) and the Employment Equity Act (No 55 of 1998) for the first time proclaimed that it is unlawful to discriminate against people with disabilities. The Employment Equity Act (No 55 of 1998) encourages employers to employ persons from designated groups. These designated groups are black people, women and people with disabilities. To enable employers to successfully recruit disabled people in the open labour market, existing recruitment and selection procedures should be reviewed to remove any discriminatory elements. It is during the recruitment and selection process that the disabled applicant are either denied access to employment or not given a fair chance to compete for a position. Currently the Employment Equity Act (No 55 of 1998) only mentions the terms "people with disabilities" and "reasonable accommodation". This Act does not provide guidelines for employers on how to go about recruiting and employing disabled candidates. Therefore the aim of the study is to present practical guidelines regarding the employment of people with disabilities. These guidelines describe in a non-discriminatory manner the recruitment and selection process, such as reviewing job descriptions, the advertisement of positions, interpreting the disabled candidates' curriculum vitae and interviewing the disabled applicant. The idea of reasonable accommodation within the workplace highlights the use and benefits of assistive devices for disabled persons so that the essential functions of a job can be performed. Exploratory-descriptive research was done with the assistance of questionnaires as an instrument for data collection. To meet the aims of this study, an availability sample of 20 businesses (small, medium and large businesses) which also included government departments in the Cape Metropolitan area was selected. The opinions and attitudes of human resources staff and business owners concerning the recruitment of physically disabled people, persons with hearing impairments, persons with visual impairments and persons suffering from epilepsy, were determined. The research findings reflected and discussed in this study indicate that employers do not have recruitment and selection guidelines available to recruit persons with different disabilities successfully. Conclusions and recommendations are made regarding the knowledge and opinions of employers recruiting people with disabilities. The use of recruitment and selection guidelines will benefit both the employer and the disabled candidate. Such guidelines will enable employers to recruit disabled persons in a fair and consistent manner.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Tot onlangs was persone met gestremdhede in Suid Afrika onderbenut in die arbeidsmag. Gestremde persone is verhoed om deel te neem aan werksgeleenthede en kon dus nie aktiewe bydraes lewer tot die ekonomie van die land nie. Die rede hiervoor is omdat werkgewers selde of nooit blootgestel is aan die indiensneming van gestremde persone in die ope arbeidsmark nie. Die gevolg is dat werkgewers onkundig en oningelig is oor die voordele wat die indiensneming van persone met gestremdhede bied. Sedert die ontstaan van 'n nuwe demokratiese bedeling in 1994, is nuwe wetgewing daargestel wat die regte van persone met gestremdhede beskerm. Die Konstitusie van die Republiek van Suid Afrika (Nr 108 van 1996), die nuwe Arbeidswet (Nr 66 van 1995) en die Gelyke Indiensnemingwet (Nr 55 van 1998) het vir die eerste keer verklaar dat dit onwettig is om te diskrimineer teen gestremde persone. Die Gelyke Indiensnemingswet (Nr 55 van 1995) moedig werkgewers aan om persone van agtergeblewe groepe in diens te neem. Hierdie agtergeblewe groepe sluit in swart persone, vroue en persone met gestremdhede. Om werkgewers in staat te stel om persone met gestremdhede suksesvol te werf, behoort huidige werwings- en keuringsprosedures hersien te word ten einde diskriminerende faktore te elirnineer. Dit is tydens die keuringsproses dat persone met gestremdhede of verhoed word, of die regverdige kans gegun word om te kompeteer vir 'n betrekking. Die Gelyke Indiensnemingswet (Nr 55 van 1998) noem slegs die terme "persone met gestremdhede" en "redelike voorsorg". Hierdie wet verskaf nie riglyne aan werkgewers oor hoe om werwing en keuring van persone met gestremdhede te behartig nie. Die doelwit van die studie is dus om praktiese riglyne aangaande aanstelling van persone met gestremdhede daar te stel. Hierdie riglyne beskryf die wyse van werwing en keuring op 'n niediskriminerende wyse, soos die hersiening van posbeskrywings, advertensies van betrekkings, die interpretering van gestremde persone se curriculum vitae en die voer van onderhoude met gestremde applikante. Redelike voorsorg beklemtoon die gebruik en voordele van hulpmiddels vir persone met gestremdhede sodat die essensiele werksfunksies verrig kan word. Verkennende beskrywende navorsing is gedoen met behulp van vraelyste om inligting te bekom. Vir die doelwitte van hierdie studie is 'n beskikbaarheidsmonster van 20 besighede (klein, medium en groot besighede), wat regeringsdepartemente ingesluit het in die Kaapse Metropolitaanse gebied gekies. Die menings en opinies van menslike hulpbronne personeel, en besigheidseienaars rakende die werwing van persone met fisiese gestremdhede, persone met gehoorgestremdhede, persone met gesigsgestremdhede asook persone wat aan epilepsie Iy, is vasgestel. Die navorsingresultate van hierdie studie dui aan dat werkgewers tans nie werwings- en keuringsriglyne benut wanneer persone met gestremdhede in diens geneem word nie. Gevolgtrekkings en aanbevelings oor die menings van werkgewers rakende die werwing van gestremde persone, is gemaak. Die gebruik van werwings en keuringsriglyne behoort beide die werkgewer en die gestremde kandidaat te bevoordeel. Hierdie riglyne sal werkgewers in staat stel om persone met gestremdhede op 'n regverdige en eenvormige wyse aan te stel.

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