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Wits appoints a sexual harassment director: Is this the best way to deal with sexual harassment in your workplace?

by , 07 February 2014
The University of the Witwatersrand has appointed academic Jackie Dugard as its new director of the university's Sexual Harassment Office. The university hopes the move will help it to effectively deal with sexual harassment. But, is this the best way to manage sexual harassment? Read on to find out...

Wits is serious about rooting out sexual harassment.

Last year we reported that the university dismissed two employees who were found guilty of sexual harassment.

And this appointment is a clear indication that the university is delivering on its promise to take a firm stance against sexual violence.

What does a sexual harassment director do? Well, Dugard will assess the current structure to deal with sexual harassment on the different campuses. She'll also work with various relevant university departments to ensure Wits had a sufficient, trustworthy system in place to ensure a safe environment on campuses, Rector Adam Habib told News24.

This is certainly a step in the right direction. But, are there any other alternatives to managing sexual harassment?

Use these methods to manage sexual harassment in your workplace

If you don't have the means to appoint a sexual harassment director like Wits, you can rely on the Code of Good Practice on the Handling of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. It'll give you a better understanding of what sexual harassment is and the various forms it can take.

The Code is also useful in that it gives solutions. It has things you can do to inform and educate your staff about sexual harassment.


Do you have a legally water-tight sexual harassment policy in your workplace?

II not, you'll be held responsible and forced to pay thousands of rands for damages if an employee is sexually harassed... 


The Code recommends the following:

That's not all.

The Code also recommends you create and maintain a work environment in which the dignity of employees is respected.

The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service says you must do the following to achieve this working environment:

Well there you have it. There are many ways to deal with sexual harassment. Make use of them to effectively with harassment in your workplace.

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