HIV/Aids in the Workplace
HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe has gradually decreased from 16% of the population in 2007 to 13% in 2010, according to the National Aids Council.
A number of reasons account for this decline. Included are policies put in place by government at the workplace to curb the spread of the disease.
The country as a whole and the government has accepted that HIV/AIDS is a workplace issue which requires intervention not only by employers but employees as well.
Various policies have been developed in the different work sectors which take into consideration the impact that HIV/AIDS can have in the workplace, and on productivity.
Zimbabwe Statutory Instrument 202 of 1998
This was introduced by Zimbabwe in response to the need for workplace regulation regarding HIV/AIDS.
Regulations state the following:
- It is an offence for an employer to require HIV testing as a precondition for employment or to terminate employment on account of one’s HIV status.
- Employers are required to develop workplace policies and programmes regarding HIV and AIDS.
Zimbabwe National Aids Levy
The National Aids Levy was started in 2000 through the National Aids Council (NAC) Act Chapter 15/14 of 2000.
The major aim of this levy is for individuals and companies in Zimbabwe to pay 3% of their income and corporate taxes towards the National Aids Trust Fund. This is then used to finance various programmes in response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
National Private Sector Response
The Government of Zimbabwe has also devised the National Strategic Framework for the Private Sector Response to HIV/AIDS. The overall goal of this is to contribute to a reduction in the number of HIV infections, as well as support national initiatives towards the goal of universal access to HIV prevention, care, support and treatment.
Private sector companies have a key role to play in scaling up HIV prevention, care, treatment and support.