Strained economy may mean sexual harassment goes unreported at the workplace

Legal experts have recently warned that South Africa's bleak economic outlook could result in fewer sexual harassment complaints being lodged.

Aadil Patel a specialist in employment law at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, explains that an academic study previously conducted by an economist in 2011 notes that during a time of high unemployment, people are more fearful of leaving jobs and filing complaints of sexual harassment.

Where someone is able to find a job more easily, the economic research indicates they are more willing to take on the system.

Aadil Patel, Director and National Head of Employment practice at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

The most vulnerable employees are low paid, unskilled, rural employees.

Aadil Patel, Director and National Head of Employment practice at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

Patel says organisations exposed to such research need to take an active role in educating its employees about their rights within the organisation.

Information and knowledge sharing is highly lacking, he says, and government has published a code of good practice on sexual harassment which informs both parties of their rights and obligations.

Patel says these are words on paper and what is needed is the participation from human resources managers and directors to educate and highlight the research which may lead to an increase in reported incidents.

The economy is under immense strain.

Aadil Patel, Director and National Head of Employment practice at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

A caller phoned to tell her story.

I had reported a sexual harassment case at work. Five months later my position was made redundant and I ended up losing my job. It really makes it difficult for one to stand up in an entity whereby you're being victimised for doing the right thing.

Nonny, Caller

Patel says if an employee is victimised for lodging a complaint of sexual harassment, they can then further lodge a complaint with The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) or labour court.

Take a listen to the rest of the conversation in the audio below:


This article first appeared on 702 : Strained economy may mean sexual harassment goes unreported at the workplace


Recommended

by THE NEWSROOM
Read More
What men need to know about checking for prostate cancer

What men need to know about checking for prostate cancer

Urologist and sexual health expert Dr Shingai Mutambirwa says it's vital for men above 40 to check their prostates annually.

Mbalula wants to 'instill fear in criminals'

Mbalula wants to 'instill fear in criminals'

The police minister shared the strategy for his term in office.

Opinion: Pastor Ray McCauley is wrong to say church should be regulated

Opinion: Pastor Ray McCauley is wrong to say church should be regulated

McCauley wrote a piece in The Star following the arrest of Pastor Tim Omotoso on charges of sexual abuse and human trafficking.

Concern that Virgin Active putting lives of late-night shift workers at risk

Concern that Virgin Active putting lives of late-night shift workers at risk

Virgin Active member Mpho Leseka and former employees say the gym doesn't provide transport for staff working at night.

Maternal deaths caused by unsafe abortion a cry for reproductive justice

Maternal deaths caused by unsafe abortion a cry for reproductive justice

Two medical experts unpack the importance of reproductive justice in SA and recognising a woman's right to choose.

Winter blues got you down? What you must know about Seasonal Affective Disorder

Winter blues got you down? What you must know about Seasonal Affective Disorder

Don't brush off that yearly feeling or a seasonal funk. Here's how to help keep your mood and motivation up throughout the year.

Bitcoin, Uber and GoPro - how the mighty are challenged - Part 1

Bitcoin, Uber and GoPro - how the mighty are challenged - Part 1

Becoming a world disrupting new technology is not the end of the journey, it may not even be the hardest part.

What constitutes sexual harassment according to the Dept of Labour

What constitutes sexual harassment according to the Dept of Labour

Xolani Gwala finds out what the law says after caller, Mandisa, shared how she has been victimised after reporting harassment.

3 commitments companies must make to curb sexual harassment

3 commitments companies must make to curb sexual harassment

Associate professor at Wits Law Bonita Meyersfeld advocates for a zero tolerance policy on sexual harassment in the workplace.

Emotional caller recalls workplace sexual harassment

Emotional caller recalls workplace sexual harassment

This comes in the wake of Wits Professor Mtendeweka Mhango dismissal for sexual harassment.

Wits fires professor found guilty of sexual harassment - but have not named him

Wits fires professor found guilty of sexual harassment - but have not named him

Three women who were sexually harassed say the university is protecting the professor by not naming him.

Panel's findings due on professor's sexual harassment case

Panel's findings due on professor's sexual harassment case

EWN reporter, Thando Kubheka says the independent panel will be handing over its findings today to Wits VC Adam Habib.

An attorney's guide to understanding sexual harassment

An attorney's guide to understanding sexual harassment

Labour lawyer Tertius Wessels explains what constitutes sexual harassment and the consequences it has in the workplace.

Senior Wits professor investigated for sexual harassment

Senior Wits professor investigated for sexual harassment

It's alleged that the professor allegedly sexually harassed two female lecturers and an office administrator.

Sexual and romantic relationships between staff and students off limits at Wits

Sexual and romantic relationships between staff and students off limits at Wits

The university has formulated the banning policy to curtail possible abuse of power by lecturers against students.

Popular articles
NICD: Listeriosis cases rapidly rising in SA, death toll at 172

NICD: Listeriosis cases rapidly rising in SA, death toll at 172

National Institute for Communicable Diseases says all cases traced back to the same bacterial strain and source needs to be found.

'Foreshore development plan will exacerbate spacial and social divide'

'Foreshore development plan will exacerbate spacial and social divide'

UCT planning expert raises concerns over bidder's proposed plans for Foreshore development.

UK issues terror warning against SA after Brit couple abducted in KZN

UK issues terror warning against SA after Brit couple abducted in KZN

The British gov issued a travel advisory‚ warning of possible attacks when traveling to SA, after a UK couple was kidnapped.

Saps: Attackers spared 5 female cops in Ngcobo police shooting

Saps: Attackers spared 5 female cops in Ngcobo police shooting

E Cape Saps says they are investigating the murder of five police officers and one retired soldier at Ngcobo Police Station.

How to make your first million

How to make your first million

Warren Ingram discusses his new book in which he shares practical ways for ordinary people to achieve financial freedom.