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While you can't jail anyone for sexual harassment, you can do THIS to deal with it in your workplace

by , 10 June 2014
Last week, Egypt's outgoing President Adly Mansour, announced that sexual harassment is a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

According to a Mail & Guardian report, the decree amends the country's current laws, which didn't criminalise sexual harassment and only vaguely referred to such offences as 'indecent assault.'

The move by Mansour, who handed over power to Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on Sunday, shows that the country wants to deal with sexual harassment effectively.

If you're wondering if you can adopt the same approach in your workplace, the answer is 'no'. But you can still use these efficient measures to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace.

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Use these measures to effectively deal with sexual harassment in the workplace

The decree by Mansour says harassers face between six months to five years in prison. And even harsher sentences are reserved for offenders who hold a position of power over their victims like being a woman's superior at work or being armed with a weapon. The decree also defines a sexual harasser as a person seeking to achieve 'an interest of a sexual nature'.

In South Africa, our laws define sexual harassment as 'unwanted conduct of a sexual nature.'

This includes any workplace behaviour that has a sexual connotation - either implied or explicit - which isn't wanted.

While you can't send employees guilty of sexual harassment to jail, you need to take steps to deal with sexual harassment.

Your first step is to have a sexual harassment policy.

Your sexual harassment policy must specify the range of disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed on a perpetrator, says the Complete Sexual Harassment Advisor.

For example, you can state in your policy that you'll issue warnings for minor offences and you'll dismiss after the third warning.

There's one more thing you can use to deal with sexual harassment.
 

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Consult the Code of Good Practice on the Handling of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace if you want to effectively deal with sexual harassment

In addition to your sexual harassment policy, use the Code of Good Practice on the Handling of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace to deal with sexual harassment at work.

In this article, we explain that the Code is a useful tool because it also gives solutions. It has things you can do to inform and educate your staff about sexual harassment.

For example, it recommends you include the issue of sexual harassment in orientation, education and training programmes.

The bottom line: A sexual harassment policy and the Code of Good Practice on the Handling of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace are your best bets if you want to effectively deal with sexual harassment in the workplace.



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