Trocaire’s HIV Champions are pleased to present you with an overview of our HIV workplace policy In this short presentation we’ll cover the key elements of the policy. The policy is meant to help and protect staff all staff but especially those who are living with and affected by HIV. It lays out the rights and responsibilities of all Trócaire staff members in relation to HIV. We encourage you to read the policy document.....which contains additional detail. It’s posted on the document library.
In the 30 years since the first case of Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV) was diagnosed, 60 million people have been infected, almost 30 million people have died, and more than 16 million children have been orphaned. The impact of HIV has been truly devastating in many of the countries where Trocaire works. No cure for HIV has yet been found, but huge strides have been made in treating HIV with anti retroviral medicines and as a result HIV is now a condition that can be managed like other chronic illnesses. Progress has also been made in preventing HIV with the elimination of mother to child transmission within reach. Recognising the devastating impact of HIV in many of the countries where we work, Trocaire is anxious to reduce the impact of HIV on the staff and on the programmes we implement. This policy is part of that effort. It acknowledges the reality of HIV for all of us. Through this policy we can all contribute to reducing the impact of HIV on our staff and consequently on the work we do. Finally, through this policy, we affirm our solidarity with colleagues who are affected by HIV.
The workplace policy has four main objectives: The first is to reduce our exposure to becoming infected with HIV by providing information and training on HIV and by implementing travel and security guidelines. The second is to encourage us to take personal and collective responsibility to respond both to the risk and the challenges of HIV The third is to create a supportive workplace environment for colleagues who are living with or affected by HIV The final objective is to provide treatment and care for colleagues who need it (provided it is available in country and not available under public health or medical insurance)
The policy applies to all of us irrespective of where we’re based and regardless of whether HIV prevalence is high or low in our country. The policy also covers our dependents - one legally recognised partner and up to 3 dependent children under the age of 18. A child is not required to be legally defined as a dependant, but must be in your full time care. Certain benefits, such as antiretroviral therapy, only apply to those with a permanent or fixed term contract of at least 12 months duration who have successfully completed the probabtionary period. There is an exception to this in that employees on probation (and their dependants) may access ART if they are already on treatment when commencing employment with Trocaire.
There are three key principles. The first principle is that of Non-discrimination in recruitment and employment.... Trocaire does not consider HIV status as a factor for determining suitability for employment or promotion opportunities HIV testing is not be requested as part of the recruitment process, (unless it is a condition of entry / residency in a particular country e.g. El Salvador) No colleague living with HIV should be ever by subject to discrimination in any form from a co worker. Any staff member living with HIV will be subject to the same sick leave provisions which apply to other illnesses If circumstances require it, alternative working arrangements which are mutually acceptable to Trocaire and the employee will be put in place to assist a colleague manage challenges related to HIV. The second principle is that of Confidentiality.....which means no one in the organisation can pass information on a staff member’s medical status to anyone else within or outside the organisation without the employees informed written consent. Each field office is expected to develop a system to ensure confidentiality is maintained. This can be done by outsourcing medical treatment and using a system of codes to make payments. The third principle is around Disclosure. You are under no obligation to disclose your HIV status as an employee of Trocaire, unless you wish to do so. At the same time Trócaire aims to provide a supportive environment for anyone living with HIV and recognises the many benefits that openly positive staff could bring to the organisation in terms of reducing stigma, raising awareness and giving a positive image and understanding of people living with HIV These three principles are intended to create a workplace which ensures any staff member living with HIV enjoys a supportive environment and is allowed to perform to optimum capacity
Firstly, Trócaire is committed to providing you with information and training about HIV and AIDS It’s up to us, as staff members, to request topics we would find useful. These could include prevention, testing for HIV, Treatment options, talking to children about HIV, nutrition. Staff can also provide suggestions as to who should deliver the training. Secondly, Trocaire is committed to providing a safe and secure workplace environment for all of us. F irst aid kits will be available in offices and vehicles and that any first aiders among the staff will be made aware of the universal precautions that should be taken in ensure adequate protection against HIV. It also means that Trocaire will provide you with access to Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) if you need it. PEP is a one month course of antiretorviral drugs administered as soon as possible after potential exposure to HIV. PEP significantly reduces the risk of HIV transmission in the unfortunate event of exposure through rape, needle stick injury or other accidental exposure. All country offices should assess PEP availability and provide you with training on PEP.
The third provision is that Trocaire will provide medical and non medical support to you if you are HIV positive provided that this is not available free under public health schemes in country or under a medical insurance scheme. This includes testing fees, laboratory tests, treatment of opportunistic infections, doctors fees, anti retroviral therapy treatment, prevention of mother to child transmission. You can avail of these services during your probationary period once they’ve been recommended by a medical doctor. However, you must have completed probation before you are eligible for Trocaire assistance for ART. (unless you’re already on therapy before commencing employment with Trocaire). In addition, you and your dependents are entitled to continuous payment for treatment for six months following completion of your contract, Trócaire recognises the non-medical support needs of staff, such as by allowing for compassionate and non-paid leave or through developing voluntary, local funeral funds. Trócaire will respond compassionately to the particular stresses caused by HIV and accommodate specific needs within the boundaries of what is reasonable.
So how does the policy work Trocaire as the employer has responsibilities and we as staff have responsibilities Trocaire will .... Set out the various steps that Trócaire as the employer, will take to handle HIV in the workplace Provide a supportive environment for staff living with HIV and promote a culture that openly addresses HIV and AIDS Work within the legal framework of each country As employees, we should Familiarise ourselves with the policy (watching this slide show is a good first step!) Avail of information, education and testing opportunities when they are offered Take personal responsibility for your own and others safety Be supportive of people living with and affected by HIV
Implementation of the policy is the responsibility of all managers, in field offices and in Ireland. HIV Programme Officers, HIV focal points and the HR department can provide support. Each office needs to designate responsibilities clearly to best suit their needs and their size. It should be clear in each office: Who is responsible overall for ensuring the policy is implemented? Who will organise induction for each new staff member? Who will organise on going education & training? Who will staff go to if they want to draw down any provisions of the policy? In every office Trócaire must comply with national legislation which takes precedence in every case.
Each year we will review how the policy is being implemented across the organisation by looking at how we’re doing against our commitments. Each country will be asked to assess their own performance against the elements of the policy. This review will also invite you to present any challenges encountered in implementing the policy or on the other had any particular approaches that have worked really well for you and that others might try as well.
The HIV Champions present to staff..... Trócaire’s HIV Workplace Policy