Discipline and Dismissal

Breaking News



 

Harassment in the workplace is an often complained of problem in the workplace.


It takes place quite frequently, and it seems that the objective is that the employer engages in certain subtle tactics in the hope that the employee will become so fed up with the situation, that he/she resigns.


Very often, the employer will engage in such tactics in order to avoid having to follow proper retrenchment procedures,  or to avoid following disciplinary or poor work performance procedures. Harassment takes many forms. It can include things like overloading a person with work in the hope that they will fail, constantly criticising them regarding their work performance, but at the same time not criticising any specific aspect of the work performance.

 

It can include matters such as the misuse of power or position by a superior, victimisation, degrading a person in the presence of others by passing remarks about their work performance, their brain power or the lack of it, any unfair treatment based on arbitrary grounds such as race, gender, sexual orientation, religion etc, or even making unwelcome sexual advances, which of course constitutes sexual harassment.


Other things might include spreading of rumours about a person, or insulting them on the grounds of gender, race or disability etc - making them look stupid in the presence of others. This type of investment is usually done in such a subtle way, that nothing specific can be pinpointed. It usually ends where the employee simply resigns, but does not have sufficient grounds or substance to bring a dispute of constructive dismissal against the employer.

 

The question is, what can the employee do about it? Firstly, every individual has the right to be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace. Employers, in fact, have a duty to protect their employees from all forms of harassment, and employers should really have a company policy in place to handle such issues. Harassment can also, and usually does, constitute an unfair discrimination.


Further problems caused by harassment may include a violation of human rights.  It will certainly bring about the situation of poor morale in the targeted employee,  resulting in very low production from that employee.


It may also cause the employee to remain absent from work without apparent reason or proper authorisation, and usually also causes the employee to start arriving late for work.  The work environment itself becomes hostile and offensive to the employee, eventually culminating in the resignation of the employee.

 

Employees who are being subjected to this type of treatment should keep a careful written record of all incidents, noting down the date and time, making a careful note of what happened or what was said, and also noting down names of any potential witnesses.

 

The employee can then confront the perpetrator, preferably in writing, and request the perpetrator to immediately cease his/her unacceptable and intolerable behaviour. The employee should also make a formal complaint to the employer, and if the perpetrator happens to be a manager then the employee should address the complaint to somebody higher up on the ladder of authority.


The employee may also seek union assistance if they are a member of a trade union. It is important that the employee lodge a formal complaint with the employer because once the complaint has been lodged,  the company management must investigate the matter. Employees are also free to contact the CCMA for assistance should the employer ignore any formal complaint lodged by the employee.


For more information contact

Courses and Workshops

 

                                         

 

Workshop: New Amendments to Labour Legislation

20 February 2019 (Fully Booked)

Hotel Fire & Ice: Menlyn

21 February 2019 (Fully Booked)

Emperors Palace Convention Centre

26 February 2019 

Protea Hotel: Tyger Valley: Cape Town

28 February 2019 (Fully Booked)

Emperors Palace Convention Centre

08 March 2019

Southern Sun: Elangeni: Durban

13 March 2019

Emperors Palace Convention Centre

28 March 2019

Hotel Fire & Ice: Menlyn   

Employment Equity Committee Training

08 March 2019

Protea Hotel By Marriott Tyger Valley: Cape Town

29 March 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre 

05 April 2019

Southern Sun: Elangeni: Durban

Basic Labour Relations

22 February 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

01 March 2019

Protea Hotel By Marriott Tyger Valley: Cape Town

07 March 2019

Southern Sun: Elangeni: Durban

Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Course

22 February 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

15 March 2019

Protea Hotel By Marriott Tyger Valley: Cape Town

03 April 2019

Southern Sun: Elangeni: Durban

The OHS Act and the Responsibilities of Management

13 March 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

14 March 2019

Protea Hotel By Marriott Tyger Valley: Cape Town

04 April 2019

Southern Sun: Elangeni: Durban

Workshop Chairing Disciplinary Hearings

14 & 15 March 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

Managing Day to Day Issues/ Problem Employees Full day workshop

29 March 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

05 April 2019

Protea Hotel By Marriott Tyger Valley: Cape Town

 

 

 Our Clients