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De Jure Law Journal

versión On-line ISSN 2225-7160
versión impresa ISSN 1466-3597


MAIMELA, Charles. Is discriminating against employees living with cancer in the workplace justified?. De Jure (Pretoria) [online]. 2021, vol.54, n.1, pp.205-231. ISSN 2225-7160.

This article interrogates the issue relating to employees living with cancer taking part in employment without being discriminated against based on their medical condition. It will be clearly outlined that cancer does not take away the ability of employees living with cancer to continue with work or enter into employment, which is what most employers and fellow employees believe based on the myth and stigma attached to cancer. This needs to be discouraged through proper education and creating awareness about cancer. This article will interrogate what cancer is and how it develops in the human body as well as the extent or impact of cancer on a patient to a point of leading to disability. The debate of whether cancer amounts to a disability in the South African context will be entertained and recommendations outlined with the aim of ensuring that employees living with cancer are not excluded in taking part in employment among other things. Focus will then shift to the most important aspect of this article which is discrimination, and to explore the different forms of discriminations as well as outline why employers tend to discriminate against employees living with cancer and can this conduct of employers be justified in any way in line with the South African legal system and the article will be incomplete if reference is not made to the English legal system. This is attributed to the fact that the South African legal system is built on the English legal system to a lesser or greater extent and lessons can be drawn from the English legal system due to the advances that have been made when it comes to the protection of employees living with cancer in the workplace. Recommendations will follow with the aim of providing a way forward for employees living with cancer in the South African market.

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