Employer(s) should give due consideration to the granting of additional paid sick leave in cases of serious harassment 

An employer should consider granting additional paid sick leave in the case where an employee’s existing sick leave entitlement has been exhausted, in cases of serious harassment.

According to Department of Employment and Labour Deputy Director: Employment Equity, Masilo Lefika this is more so where the employee is on medical advice and requires trauma counselling.

Lefika said according to the new Code of Good Practice on the prevention and elimination of harassment in the workplace published on 18 March 2022, if harassment results in an employee being ill for longer than two weeks, the employee may also be entitled to claim illness benefits in terms of section 20 of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001.

He said in appropriate circumstances, employers may give consideration to assisting with the cost of the medical advice and trauma counselling and care, where such amounts are not covered by any applicable medical aid scheme.

Lefika cautioned that even trade unions are also employers themselves — and the code applies to them. He was addressing a joint Department of Employment and Labour, and the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) 2022 Employment Equity workshop held at Hotel Osner in East London today.

The workshop, part of a national series of advocacy programmes held throughout the country was held under the theme: “Real transformation makes business sense”. It follows other similar workshops held in Kimberley, Mahikeng, Rustenburg; Thohoyandou, Polokwane; Mbombela, Emalahleni; Welkom; Richards Bay, Gqeberha, and Pietermaritzburg.

Lefika emphasized the critical provision of information and education – on issues of sexual harassment and other types of harassment. He said employers/and or employer organisations on their part should include the issue of sexual harassment in their orientation programs, education and training programs in an accessible format.

The same applies to trade unions that should include issues of sexual harassment and other types of harassment in their educational training programs for shop stewards and employees, Lefika said, reiterating also that the CCMA and Bargaining Council Commissioners and Labour Court judges should receive specialised training to deal with harassment cases.

The EE workshops enter the last phase in September before they conclude.

The objective of the workshops is:

• Publicising the Gazetted Code of Good Practice on elimination of and prevention harassment

  in the workplace;

• Present on 2021-2022 EE Annual Report (22nd EE Annual Report);

• The 2022 EE Online reporting; and • CCMA: Case law of all types of harassment.

The workshops are aimed at employers or heads of organisations, academics, assigned senior managers, consultative forum members, human resource practitioners, trade unions representatives and employees.

The remaining workshops re lined up as follows:

KwaZulu-Natal

• Durban (01 September 2022) — Olive Convention Centre, 81 Somtseu Road, North Beach

Western Cape

• George (06 September 2022) — (venue to be confirmed)

• Cape Town (07 September 2022) — (venue to be confirmed)

Free State

• Bloemfontein (13 September 2022) — (venue to be confirmed)

Gauteng

• Pretoria (13 September 2022) — RH Hotel, Corner Steve Biko Road and, Trevenna Street, Sunnyside

• Johannesburg (14 September 2022) — (venue to be confirmed)

• Vaal (15 September 2022) — (venue to be confirmed)

Kind Regards

CPI Payroll Support Team

 

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