THE NATIONAL TRIPARTITE WORKPLACE POLICY ON HIV AND AIDS
The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has an overriding responsibility to ensure that employers provide a safe and healthy work environment for their employees. It is widely recognized that HIV and AIDS can have multiple implications for the workplace and impact on the economic, social and cultural life of the employees.
All employers must adopt comprehensive HIV and AIDS workplace programmes which should clearly articulate the policy in relation to HIV and AIDS at the work place, namely:
The provision and maintenance of an open, informed and safe work environment through education and training;
The provision of a working environment that prevents and prohibits stigma and discrimination against persons known or perceived to be living with HIV, and or affected by HIV and AIDS;
To balance the needs of the employers’ productivity with empathy for persons living with HIV and to reasonably accommodate them as long as they are medically fit to perform appropriate work.
The vigorous implementation of this policy is expected to lead to the decrease of the impact of HIV and AIDS; that is to say:
a) Reduce the spread of HIV as a result of effective workplace policies and programmes;
b) Reduce HIV-related stigma and discrimination through awareness sessions and gender-sensitive education which is culturally appropriate;
c) Accept persons living with HIV and AIDS;
d) Improve access to counseling, treatment, care and support.
Guiding Policy Principles
The ILO in 2001 provided a solid guide for addressing HIV in the workplace through its Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work. The Code identifies 10 key principles which, together, constitute the basis for addressing the epidemic in the workplace. The Code has been enhanced by the adoption in 2010 of ILO Recommendation No. 200, the first international labour standard on HIV.
The ILO HIV instruments are now part of the Vincentian Labour Landscape and the ILO Key Principles form the core guiding principles for workplace action on HIV in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.