Labour lawyer Joe Mothibi has warned employees against abuse from managers on the mobile platform WhatsApp.
Bullying can happen... As much as it can happen in meetings, it can very easily happen in WhatsApp groups.— Joe Mothibi, labour lawyer at Norton Rose Fulbright
Mothibi explains that bullying, of any kind, is specifically prohibited under the Employment Equity Act.
Although there are no specific laws on company WhatsApp groups, Mothibi says that the rules of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act should apply in the same manner as they do for other work communication.
Managers are not allowed to force employees to join a WhatsApp group, if they are unable to prove its potential utility.
He says that it is unreasonable to expect that employees remain available via WhatsApp 24 hours a day.
The act stipulates that employees are entitled to rest periods, but Mothibi says legislation has not completely caught up with the digital world.
Listen to the full conversation from The Midday Report with Stephen Grootes: