Workplace Harassment – New Legal Changes
Harassment in the workplace has always been a big talking point amongst workers and management alike. It is a touchy subject but does need airtime.
Recently, the law was adjusted in terms of dealing with harassment in the workplace, adding broader approaches. The changes to the Code of Good Practice on the Prevention and Elimination of Harassment in the Workplace deal with:
how to deal with extra sick leave and trauma counselling
will cover people who work from home and dealing with work-related communication
domestic workers are included here now too
harassment by bosses and by colleagues, visitors and clients
it covers surveillance of employees without their knowledge
passive-aggressive behaviour, which has to do with what you do with your facial expressions
as well as negative commenting and sarcasm
So, one can see that the law deals with so much more than “cries of rape” or “he touched me” claims – it delves into the more profound and often overlooked aspects of all that entails harassment.
Taken from the Government Gazette, 18 March 2022 – “The South African Constitution protects the rights to dignity, equality, and fair labour practices in terms of the Bill of Rights. South Africa is committed to the elimination, prevention, and management of all forms of harassment, including gender-based harassment in the workplace, with the aim to create safe workplaces that are free of harassment.
The Employment Equity Act, 1998 (EEA) regulates workplace equity. Section 6(1) prohibits unfair discrimination directly or indirectly, against an employee, in any employment policy or practice … including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, family responsibility, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, HIV status, conscience, belief, political opinion, culture, language, birth, or on any other arbitrary ground.”
Should you need more insight into workplace harassment, please do reach out. Article as featured in TOPCO Media.