If you do not know what constitutes sexual harassment and what the different forms of sexual harassment are, you can easily find yourself in a grievance and/or disciplinary hearing.
The Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 includes a Code of Good Practice providing a guideline for employees and employers on how to deal with sexual harassment cases.
Section/Item 3(1) of the Act/Code provides the following definition:
‘’Sexual harassment is unwanted conduct of a sexual nature. The unwanted nature of sexual harassment distinguishes it from behaviour that is welcome and mutual.’’
According to Section 2(2) of the Act the following sexual attention becomes sexual harassment if –
It is important to note that a single incident can also constitute sexual harassment.
Item 4 (1)(a) to (d) provides the following guidelines in terms of the different forms of sexual harassment:
“Sexual harassment may include unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct, but is not limited to the following examples:
In a Nutshell: Employees must treat one another with the necessary dignity and respect. An inappropriate joke can be perceived in a different way than intended and as such employers should develop clear guidelines and procedures relating to sexual harassment. Grievances about sexual harassment should be investigated confidentially, and employers should take the necessary disciplinary actions against employees who are accused of sexual harassment. In line with the Act, employers should have a zero tolerance policy with regards to sexual harassment.
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