Worldwide, the employment of people with disabilities has been challenged by the slow development of ‘workplace specific’ disability employment policies. The focus has been on formulating legislation to overcome barriers and the implementation of national disability policies without ensuring that workplaces formulate such policies. While laws regarding disability have been on the statute books for two decades in South Africa, little is known about how effective they have been and their impact in the workplace. This article examines whether South African government departments have developed or reviewed employment policies for the benefit of people with disabilities, and determines whether policy makers were aware of the existence of the Disability Code (Republic of South Africa, 2002) and the Technical Assistance Manual (Republic of South Africa, 2005) when the policies were developed or reviewed. Human Resource Managers from 16 government departments in KwaZulu-Natal Province were interviewed. It was found that although HR policies were in place and some were being developed, very little has been done in terms of reviewing and/or developing disability employment policies. Furthermore, the existing prescripts were not extensively used as a resource during the development of disability-related employment policies. This has negatively affected the employment of people with disabilities in the public service. It is hoped that the results will assist management, HR practitioners as policy makers, and line managers to develop disability employment policies in order to attract and retain people with disabilities. The research also contributes to the existing body of literature on disability.
Brian Kwazi Majola, Rubby Dhunpath
Problems and perspectives in management