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About us :: Policies :: HIV/AIDS and PLHIV workplace policies

HIV/AIDS and PLHIV workplace policies

Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA)
HIV/AIDS and PLHIV workplace policies

Introduction

1. The Bulgarian Family Planning Association (BFPA) has elaborated and presented to the Board for approval HIV/AIDS Policies and Procedures which reflect its basic values as an organization respecting and protecting human rights. The goal of BFPA is to promote a progressive policy which supports People Living with HIV (PLHIV) as well as to ensure supportive and safe conditions for voluntary HIV counseling and testing, protecting the clients’ rights

Goal

2 (a) BFPA want its team, service providers and volunteers to be informed and educated on the subject of HIV/AIDS. The BFPA team is expected to support and promote a working environment which contributes to the principles of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) – “Active involvement of people living with HIV/AIDS” as well as “Ensuring optimal conditions for service provision in the field of sexual and reproductive health”
   (b) BFPA, as well as IPPF, would like to ensure a supportive and caring work conditions for the staff members who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. BFPA’s aim is to remove the workplace stigma and discrimination, based on real or suspected HIV status or potential vulnerability towards the HIV infection.  

Scope

3. These Policies and procedures concern the team, partners and volunteers.

 

Confidentiality and disclosing of information

4. (a) IPPF, respectively BFPA encourage a supportive work environment in which the team and clients can openly discuss HIV/AIDS, including their own experience of living with HIV/AIDS. If a staff member discloses that they or a member of their family are living with HIV/AIDS, confidentiality will be respected in regard of the circumstances of the disclosing of the information. In case of any doubt whatsoever, the staff member, living with HIV/AIDS, will be counseled before any disclosing of the information.
    (b) By the “Active involvement of people living with HIV/AIDS” principle IPPF wants to outline the special role and the important contribution of the staff members who have disclosed their HIV status when addressing the challenges of living with HIV.
    (c) The staff members are not obligated to disclose their HIV status to BFPA management or their colleagues
    (d) Any information concerning the HIV status of a personnel member which has come to the knowledge of BFPA management will be strictly confidential and will not be disclosed without consent from the personnel member concerned.
    (e) Information, concerning the HIV status of clients, staff members, members of their families or job applicants will be strictly confidential.
    (f) Confidentiality of the HIV status of a staff member should be abided at any time by all BFPA staff members. Every breach of confidentiality will be viewed upon as a disciplinary violation. 

Stigma and discrimination

5 (a) In accordance with BFPA’s Equal opportunities policy all personnel memebers will be treated equally, independent of their age, health status, gender, family responsibilities, family status, nationality, race, religion or sexual orientation.
   (b) BFPA should not discriminate in any way personnel members on the basis of an actual or suspected HIV status.
   (c) Living with HIV/AIDS will not be a reason for excluding a candidate from the work process in case they’re able to perform their duties from a medical point of view. This will not be a reason for illegibility of the candidate for a raise, training or self improvement or any other opportunity if they are fit from a medical point of view for the position or opportunity.
   (d) The BFPA team, after the example of the IPPF team, is encouraged to undertake the necessary steps to actively promote a discrimination-free work environment and specifically – to protect the rights of personnel members, living with HIV/AIDS. (See section 7)
   (e) No discrimination of a staff member living with HIV/AIDS from another staff member will be tolerated. Such a conduct will be the subject of disciplinary measures in accordance with the Disciplinary policy of the IPPF. Discrimination includes but is not limited to spreading rumours about a colleague’s HIV status or refusal to work with a personnel member living with HIV/AIDS.

Education and training

6. (a) As a part of the employment process BFPA ensures for its new and current staff members training and information about HIV/AIDS. BFPA offers a two-hour training for newcomers and has the opportunity to renew it for new volunteers every four months.
    (b) The training includes basic information about HIV/AIDS, prevention of HIV infection, universal means of protection, legal and ethical matters, gender and sexuality, stigma and discrimination, treatment, care and support. The goal of BFPA is to reflect the needs of its team as consultants and BFPA as an organization. Attending training sessions is strongly encouraged.
    (c) BFPA encourages all personnel members to educate themselves about the rights concerning HIV/AIDS and related matters. In accord with that BFPA management will give all staff members the opportunity to receive an education about HIV/AIDS in a supportive environment.
    (d) BFPA provides free condoms if wanted for its clients, available at the reception.

Voluntary counseling and testing (VCT), follow-up and treatment

7 (a) BFPA does not require HIV testing for work applicants or current staff. No employee (temporary or full-time), consultant, volunteer, partner or new employee will be asked to undergo a HIV test or disclose their HIV status in order to be employed, take part in BFPA initiatives or receive services, nor it will be a condition for a transfer or a raise. HIV testing, however, might be a condition when applying for a visa. In such a case the decision is up to the employee.
   (b) BFPA supplies to all above-mentioned the necessary information on protection from HIV infection. Information is presented by the fore-mentioned training sessions.
   (c) BFPA encourages all of the above-mentioned to undergo VCT by supplying information about suitable services and ensures access to those services.
   (d) The staff and consultants have access to information about specialized clinics for treatment of urinary system as well as other organizations which offer counseling and advice on HIV/AIDS.
   (e) All team PLHIV members will be given a reasonable amount of leave to undergo VCT, follow-up and treatment sessions where and when necessary.

Support for members of staff living or affected by HIV/AIDS

8 (a) In order to gain access to specific benefits, mentioned in sections 9, 10, 11 of these Policies and procedures, staff members living with HIV/AIDS will have to disclose confidential information to a certain staff member responsible for the  health and the well-being of staff members.
    (b) BFPA staff members, living with or affected by HIV/AIDS and those who have such concerns, are encouraged to discuss their concerns and receive information.

Social benefits

9(a) All contractual terms, including sick leave, vacation, leave concerning a family member will be applied equally for all staff members, including the ones living with HIV/AIDS.
   (b) In some cases and at the discretion of BFPA, i.e. in connection with sick leave, extra benefits might be offered to staff members living with HIV.
   (c) A staff member s affected by HIV when a close family member (offspring, parent, partner, brother/sister, spouse) is living with HIV/AIDS. In such a case the staff member has the right of extra days of leave for family reasons.

Disabilities

10 (a) Disability might be applied when a staff member cannot fulfill their obligations due to a disease, i.e. HIV/AIDS.
      (b) Disability on the basis of the disease or trauma may be temporary or constant. If a staff member cannot fulfill his obligations temporarily, the degree of the disability r trauma will be scrutinized and application of practical and reasonable changes  will be considered.
      (c) If the disability leads to a sickness absence, the staff member has a right to sick leave as stated in the Labour code. When a staff member has exhausted their sick leave, they can apply for extra sick leave in accordance with these Policies. 

Due compensation

11 (a) As HIV/AIDS is a disease, BFPA will ensure a realistic due compensation for staff members LHIV.
     (b) An authorized employee together with the personnel member LHIV, will access the extent to which the staff member LHIV can fulfill his work duties.
     (c) BFPA will do everything possible to satisfy claims by staff members LHIV for flexible work conditions in accordance with IPPF’s Policies and procedures for flexible working conditions.
     (d) Staff members LHIV will be entitled to flexible working hours which will allow for an extra break to cope wit exhaustion and all other side effects, connected with HIV.
     (e) In case the staff members LHIV need a personal assistant, they will be entitled to change their working hours in accordance with appointments in connection with their health.
     (f) When a staff member LHIV cannot fulfill their duties, a suitable alternative position for them will be sought.
     (g) BFPA will ensure the necessary training for the staff member to undertake their new duties.

Travelling procedure

12 (a) In accordance with IPPF’s Travel policy, BFPA ensures full insurance coverage for all staff members when travelling on business, independent of their HIV status. (Pls, see section 9(d) of this document)
      (b) BFPA will do everything possible to make reasonable changes for staff members LHIV travelling abroad to countries which apply measures unsuitable for PLHIV (i.e. – when possible, moving the location to a country which does not apply such policies) if they choose to disclose to BFPA their HIV status of PLHIV

Complaints procedure

13 (a) When a staff member or a client has a HIV/AIDS-related complaint, standard IPPF staff complaint procedures apply. 
     (b) Where possible, the right of confidentiality will be respected when reviewing HIV/AIDS – related complaints.

Occupational hazards

14 (a) BFPA will present and maintain, as much as possible, a safe working environment which is hazard–free and does not endanger the health of staff members. BFPA will take all possible precautionary measures to create a healthy work environment for PLHIV. BFPA has staff, trained in CPR. It is an obligation for CPR-trained staff members to be familiar with these Policies and procedures, so that they are able to advise and counsel about the available information and the support that can be given. 

Review of the BFPA’s Policies and procedures in connection with HIV/AIDS and PLHIV

15 (a) The Policies and procedures will be reviewed on a yearly basis and updated where and if needed.
(b) The executive director bears full responsibility for the application of the Policies and procedures in connection with HIV/AIDS and PLHIV
(c) The Policies and procedures will be updated to contain all changes in the national legislature as well as regulations or good practice guidelines of EU, IPPF, WHO and the other UN structures.

Approved by the Management board on February 2009

 

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About us :: Policies :: HIV/AIDS and PLHIV workplace policies