Welcome to our forum today as we continue to share the diverse knowledge relating to the labour laws and practice. In the previous article we have dealt with a subject of child employment and its implications to the employer if violates the rules. Today, we are going to have an insight about the rule against discrimination.
What is discrimination?
Discrimination can be defined as the act of treating a person or particular group of people differently, especially in a worse way from the way in which you treat other people, because of their skin colour, sex, gender or any other quality.
The labour laws that are applicable in Tanzania prohibit any form of discrimination in the employment relations.
Rule against discrimination in employment
The ELRA under Section 7 (1) provides for prohibition of discrimination at work-place. The rule provides;
‘Every employer shall ensure that he promotes an equal opportunity in employment and strives to eliminate discrimination in any employment policy or practice’
The rule is very clear to the extent that the employer is required to demonstrate in promotion of equal opportunity environment to the workers despite their background or origin.
The law goes further to mandate the employer to register with the Labour Commissioner a plan to promote equal opportunity and to eliminate discrimination in the work place.
Section.7 (4) provides that it is against the law for the employer to discriminate an employee on the following grounds;
- Tribe or place of origin
- National extraction
- Social origin
- Political opinion or religion
- Marital status or family responsibility
- Age; or
- Station of life
Moreover, the law declares that any form of Harassment of an employee shall be a form of discrimination.
Exception to the rule of discrimination
The law also give a way whereby an employer is allowed to take some actions which are justified under the law and may not amount to discrimination as per Section.7 (6) of ELRA
- To take affirmative action measures consistent with the promotion of equality or the elimination of discrimination in the workplace;
- To distinguish, exclude or prefer any person on the basis of an inherent requirement of a job; or
- To employ citizens in accordance with the National Employment Promotion Services Act.
Scope of employee or employer in discrimination
As far as discrimination is concerned, an employee meaning is not limited to a person employed by the employer but it goes beyond to include an ‘applicant for employment’. Also an employer it includes an ‘employment agency’.
Therefore, the prohibition of discrimination in employment policy or practice it covers areas such as recruitment procedures, advertising and selection criteria, appointments and the appointment process, job classification and grading, remuneration, employment benefits and terms and conditions of employment, job assignments, the working environment and facilities, training and development, performance evaluation systems, promotion transfer, demotion, termination of employment and disciplinary measures.
Employers are advised therefore to be cautious on how to handle not only the employees but also the potential employees and avoid all forms of discrimination.
Isaack Zake, Esq.Isaack Zake an Advocate of the High Court of Tanzania, he is passionate in pursuing matters in relation to labour and Human Resource Management and has been labour lawyer practitioner at various areas of practice such as FIBUCA Trade Union, Commission for Mediation and Arbitration, Labour Court of Tanzania and Labour Office at the Ministry of the Labour Affairs. Mr. Isaack is also a founder of www.ulizasheria.co.tz a blog that offers legal education to the public but also specifically to the labour stakeholders who has been able to publish more than 70 articles relating to labour laws in Swahili.
Mr. Zake is also working with the legal team of Tanzania Association of Agriculture, Commerce, Industry and Mining Employers (TAACIME) an Employer’s Association. You are all welcome to join TAACIME for advocating employer(s) rights.
For more information, questions and suggestions please contact0713 888 040 or 0787 466 687 with email firstname.lastname@example.org