Code of Good Practice for the Handling of Sexual Harassment Cases

Code of Good Practice for the Handling of Sexual Harassment Cases
08 Jan 2019

Until 19 December 2018, employers had to apply two Code of Good Practice for the Handling of Sexual Harassment Cases in the workplace. The first code was issued in 1998 (Government Notice R1367 of 17 July 1998). This code was amended on 4 August 2005, by the Amendments to the Code of Good Practice on the Handling of Sexual Harassment Cases in the Workplace (General Notice 1357).

The amended code introduced a new definition for what constitutes sexual harassment – it provided guidance on what factors to consider in determining whether an act of sexual harassment has occurred, and it placed a greater onus on employers to take positive steps to implement a sexual harassment policy.

Logically, the amended code should have replaced the previous code, however, the first code was never repealed. This meant that both codes applied, and employers had to consider the provisions of both codes when dealing with cases of sexual harassment.

As the Labour Appeal Court held in Campbell Scientific Africa (Pty) Ltd v Simmers and Others (CA 14/2014) [2015] ZALCCT 62:

“In spite of it being termed the “Amended” Code, this Code does not replace or supersede the 1998 Code, which to date has not been withdrawn. The result is that in terms of s203(3), both Codes are “relevant codes of good practice” to guide commissioners in the interpretation and application of the LRA.”

On 19 December 2018, the Minister of Labour issued a notice formally repealing and replacing the 1998 code with the amended code of 2005. This brings certainty to employers and CCMA commissioners about which code to apply. The clarity provided by the notice of repeal is welcomed.

See also:

(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
Jose Jorge
Jose Jorge

Jose Jorge is a Director at CDH's Employment practice. He specialises in employment litigation, individual employment law, collective labour law and general employment law. Jose has specialised in this field for nearly 20 years.

Send a legal query to Jose Jorge
Steven Adams
Steven Adams

Steven s a Senior Associate in CDH's Employment practice. He specialises in employment law and has advised client’s on a number of employment issues including, drafting local employment contracts, cross-border employment contracts, policies and procedures, consulting agreements and restraints of trade.

Send a legal query to Steven Adams
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