Comments equal to sexual harassment in SA workplace

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The Department of Employment and Labour has revealed some of the comments that are associated with sexual harassment at the workplace.   

Director for Employee Relations at the Department, Tina Roos said sexual misconduct doesn’t belong in the workplace and if one is doing it they should stop.  

COMMENTS ASSOCIATED WITH SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Roos also revealed that some comments and gestures associated with sexual harassment were; “Just come and give your boss a hug”,  “Can I propose to you? “My wife or husband does not treat me well”  and “you look so sexy today.”

She said the key thing with the misconduct was a comment or move that makes the victim “feel uncomfortable”.

sexual harassment workplaces
The employee tribunal in the UK recently ruled that calling someone bald at work is a form of sexual harassment. Image via Unsplash

Turning to challenges facing the Department, Roos said capacity affected the ability of the unit to service clients effectively.

“Equally frustrating was the unavailability of officials to testify in disciplinary or arbitration cases,” Roos said. 

NEW WORKPLACE ‘CODE OF CONDUCT’ BECOMES LAW

In March this year the Department of Employment and Labour published new guidelines for all staff in the workplace. 

The new Code of Conduct provides clear and extensive advice to both employers and employees, about what constitutes unfair behaviour between colleagues, superiors, and subordinates. It also included the updated and extended definition of ‘unwanted conduct’ – some of which is classed as sexual harassment.

A whole new list of inappropriate behaviours was outlined, and guilty parties could end up losing their jobs – or face a civil law suit.

“This Code identifies the steps employers must take to eliminate harassment, including the development and implementation of policies that create workplaces which are free from harassment, in which employers and employees respect each other’s dignity, privacy, and their rights to equality.”

Department of Employment and Labour

ALSO READ: New SA workplace laws will BAN ‘wolf-whistles’, ‘innuendos’, and ‘sex jokes

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