Policy Versus Reality: A Preliminary Assessment of the South African Code of Good Practice on HIV/AIDS and Key Aspects of Employment

by VASS, J., 2004
Proceedings of the HIV/AIDS in the Workplace Symposium, Published Conference Papers 308-325, 2004

Vass explores the role and effectiveness of a specific HIV/AIDS policy response by the Department of Labour, the 2000 Code of Good Practice on Key Aspects of HIV/AIDS and Employment. As a qualitative study, she reflects on the experiences of intermediaries (AIDS management service providers and trade union HIV/AIDS coordinators), and points towards a set of broad trends in the development of HIV/AIDS policies and implementation of HIV/AIDS programmes in the workplace. Preliminary findings indicated that there was an uneven awareness of the Code of Good Practice, and that it had neither emerged as a key advocacy tool for AIDS policy development nor contributed sufficiently to improvements in the quality of HIV/AIDS policies and programmes in the workplace. While there was significant awareness of key principles, especially with regard to non-discrimination, this was not necessarily attributable to the impact of the Code itself. In addition, the existing institutional framework lacked effective mechanisms for monitoring the communication and implementation of the Code and its role in enhancing HIV/AIDS policy development.