AUGUST 2020 – SOUTH AFRICA
DRAFT CODE OF GOOD PRACTICE ON THE PREVENTION AND ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT
It is important that employers note the following:
New directive issued on public access to the CCMA during the COVID-19 pandemic
Employment Equity Draft Code of Good Practice on violence and harassment
On 20 August 2020 the South African government published Government Gazette 43630 with the draft code of good practice on the prevention and elimination of violence and harassment in the workplace in South Africa.
The draft policy was published by the Minister of Employment and Labour, Thembelani Waltermade Nxesi, and falls under the Employment Equity Act. The code, which covers a number of areas, including sexual harassment and online bullying, applies to all business sectors and is currently open for public comment.
Sexual violence and harassment is defined as directly or indirectly engaging in conduct that the perpetrator knows or ought to know is not welcome, is offensive to the complainant and makes the complainant feel uncomfortable, interferes with work, causes harm or inspires the reasonable belief that harm may be caused to the complainant or a related person.
Racial violence and harassment is defined as unwanted persistent conduct, or a single incident which is seriously degrading, humiliates or creates a hostile or intimidating environment, or is calculated to influence submission by actual or threatened disadvantageous consequences, and which is related to a person’s membership or presumed membership of a group identified by one or more of the prohibited grounds or a characteristic associated with such group.
This includes direct or indirect behaviour which involves issues such as racist verbal and non-verbal conduct, remarks, abusive language, racist name-calling, offensive behaviour, gestures and racist cartoons, memes, or insinuations.
Companies should take preventative steps to stop and eliminate harassment, create prevention and awareness programmes, treat, care and support victims, as well as monitor and evaluate practices within the organisation.
To view the draft code, follow the link and select Separate Gazette 43630 20-8 Employment Labour of 20/08/2020.
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