Cases of harassment have to be reported

It is important to report sexual harassment by co-workers, bosses or potential employers. Photo: Wikimedia.org/Edith Castro Roldán, Oscar Manuel Luna Nieto

MALALANE – People are urged to report if they are asked to perform sexual favours for jobs or are sexually harassed at their workplace.

This call came from the Mpumalanga Department of Health following a recent case where an official of Rob Ferreira Hospital in Mbombela was accused of demanding sexual favours from two women in exchange for jobs.

The women only came forward seven years after it started, but an investigation was conducted. The official was cleared as no evidence could be found to prove the women’s allegations.

READ: Legally protect yourself from harassment

Despite this, the department stressed that it does not condone any form of harassment against anyone. They issued a stern warning that serious action would be taken against any official that promises people jobs in exchange for anything.

According to South African labour law, sexual harassment is defined as any unwanted conduct of a sexual nature. This can include unwanted physical contact, suggestions, hints, sex-related jokes or graphic comments about someone’s body and other inappropriate comments, gestures and indecent exposure.

READ: 7 reasons why the ruling on the “expiry date” for reporting sexual abuse is monumental

People who feel that they are being sexually harassed at their workplace should report it to their immediate superior, management and, if nothing is done, approach the police for help. If this happens to a jobseeker, they should report it to the company the person represents.

Jobseekers should take note that no government job will require that you pay any money to an official to secure employment, and that vacancies are only advertised via official channels such as departmental websites, Facebook pages and newspapers.

READ: Criminals target unemployed locals with job scams

Paying any money to an official or going to a job interview that you did not apply for, is not held at governmental offices or does not require you to submit a CV should be viewed with suspicion.

Jobseekers should double-check that officials are really employed by the government by phoning the relevant municipality or governmental offices or search for the vacancies on official channels.

READ: Criminals use government details for scams

  AUTHOR
Retha Nel

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