Employers encouraged to educate employees on harassment policies

Friday, September 16, 2022

The Department of Employment and Labour’s Deputy Director of Employment Equity, Masilo Lefika, has called on employers to educate their employees on their harassment policies.

Lefika was addressing an Employment Equity Roadshow, held in collaboration with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration(CCMA) in Vanderbijlpark on Thursday.

“Make sure that your employees are fully aware of the contents of your harassment policies. Make sure that they are aware of the policy, are fully educated and well informed on the contents thereof. It does not help to have a good policy which employees are not aware of,” Lefika said.

He advised employers to include the issue of harassment in their orientation, education and training programmes in an accessible format to make it easy for employees to understand and follow.

“This must contain all the procedures and processes that must be followed when an employee has to report harassment,” he said.

In unpacking case law on harassment matters, Commissioner Samson Phomodi, from the CCMA, told the gathering that when harassment occurs, in most cases there are “the powerful and the weak”.

“This is where we, as the Commission, come in to create an equilibrium with the law. People who ignore the law are just like those who recklessly drive through a red traffic light,” he said.

He told the gathering that the issue of harassment is a subjective one, and therefore depends on what the recipient feels and not what others think about it.

Meanwhile, employers were reminded of the Employment Equity (EE) reporting, which opened on 1 September 2022 for all designated employers.

It will close on 3 October 2022 for those submitting manually and 15 January 2023 for those submitting online.

The EE Roadshows are part of promoting the new Code of Good Practice on the prevention and elimination of harassment in the workplace.

The next Employment Equity Roadshow is scheduled to take place on 27 September 2022 in Bloemfontein, Free State.

More information on EE is obtainable from the department’s website, www.labour.gov.za. – SAnews.gov.za

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