13 May 2007

Nigeria: FG Approves Workplace Policy on HIV/Aids

Lagos — Federal Government has approved the National Workplace Policy on HIV/Aids to enhance response to the global pandemic at workplace in the country.

Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Hassan Lawal, announced the approval today in Abuja when he launched a new ILO report on discrimination in the world of work.

Lawal said the policy provided guidelines to facilitate the establishment of workplace responses to HIV/Aids in both the formal and informal sectors.

He said the policy would also protect the rights of infected and affected people, while also sensitising them on options of redress.

The minister said it would also build the capacity of management and workers in handling HIV/Aids issues in the workplace.

He commended the ILO for bringing to the global level, issues of inequality, adding that it was illegal for people to be discriminated against.

"Any treatment meted out to people on the basis of their sex, religion, race, social status or sexual orientation is not only illegal but immoral," the minister said. The ILO report, entitled "Equality at Work: Tackling Challenges", posits that there are both progress and failure in the struggle to fight discrimination.

According to the report, progress and failure have been recorded in traditional forms such as sex, race or religion, and newer forms based on age, sexual orientation, HIV/Aids status and disability.

A major aspect of the report identifies the persistence of gender gaps in employment and pay and the need for integrated policies that address sex discrimination in remuneration and occupational segregation by sex, while reconciling work and family responsibilities.

The report also states that throughout the EU, the difference in average gross hourly earnings between women and men across the economy throughout all establishments had remained high at 15 per cent.

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