Khusoko is committed to providing a safe environment for all employees free from discrimination on any grounds, including sexual harassment at work.
Khusoko has a zero-tolerance policy on any form of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.
It is Khusoko’s responsibility to ensure that all managers and employees know about and have ready access to the policy at all times and are familiar with its contents.
This policy is aimed at ensuring a working environment which is experienced as safe, supportive and conducive to achieving performance standards; preventing sexual harassment of any nature, and providing clarity on what would be deemed to be sexual harassment.
It assists recipients in dealing with sexual harassment, ensures fair proceedings for those accused and demonstrates a commitment on the part of Khusoko to approach such cases seriously, expeditiously, with sensitivity and confidentiality.
2 Objectives of the policy
The objective of the Sexual Harassment policy is to provide a consistent framework through which one can:
- Ensure a working environment which is experienced as safe, supportive and conducive to achieving performance standards.
- Prevent sexual harassment of any nature within the organization.
- Provide clarity on what would be deemed to be Sexual Harassment and related issues.
Give effect to the relevant legislative guidelines.
- Assist recipients in dealing with Sexual Harassment, in ensuring fair proceedings for those accused thereof, and demonstrate a commitment on the Employer’s part to approach such cases seriously, expeditiously, with sensitivity and confidentiality.
3 Policy Statement
Khusoko regards sexual harassment as a serious form of misconduct and will not allow, condone or ignore this kind of behaviour in the workplace. This Policy applies to all employees/consultants and parties that work with Khusoko, acknowledging that the recipients and perpetrators of Sexual Harassment may also include job applicants, clients and contractors.
Sexual harassment is any unwanted and offensive behaviour of a sexual nature that violates a person’s dignity and makes them feel degraded, humiliated, intimidated or threatened.
It is the person on the receiving end of the behaviour who decides whether or not it is unwanted or offensive. This is regardless of the intention of the person accused of harassment.
Sexual harassment can be ongoing or a one-time occurrence.
Sexual harassment can be:
Physical – someone uses physical pressure or force to have sexual contact with another person against their will.
Verbal – someone gives another person unwanted sexual attention through verbal or written comments or conversation.
Non-verbal – someone gives another person unwanted sexual attention through noises or actions at a distance.
The person who alleges harassment must have experienced the conduct subjectively as unwanted. Further, these subjective perceptions must be assessed against objective standards such as the experiences of the recipient, the surrounding circumstances and fault on the part of the perpetrator.
3.2 Behaviours That Count as Sexual Harassment
Sexual Harassment may take many forms, which may include, but are not limited to, these examples:
Actual or attempted sexual assault – a physical attack of a sexual nature, which includes sexual touching or rape
Kissing someone without permission
Unwanted touching, groping, fondling of someone’s private parts
Unwelcome touching or stroking of someone’s body
Unwelcome neck massage
Unwelcome holding of someone’s hand
Unwanted requests for sexual favours
Unwanted texts, emails, letters, telephone calls or materials of a sexual nature
Sexually suggestive remarks
Repeated and unwanted social invitations for dates or physical intimacy
Making personal and intrusive comments about someone’s dress and physical appearance
Making kissing sounds, howling and smacking of lips
Catcalling (sexually suggestive whistling)
Unwanted personal questions about social or sexual life/history
Unwanted questions about sexual fantasies
Unsolicited jokes that are sexual in nature
Unsolicited sexual innuendos or stories
Circulating innuendos or ‘dirty’ jokes via email or social media
Repeated invasion of personal space
Looking someone up and down (Elevator eyes)
Staring or ‘leering’
Sexual gestures with body
Facial expressions such as winking, licking lips, throwing kisses
Stalking someone or following them around
Blocking someone’s path
Unwanted personal gifts
Displaying sexually explicit posters, calendars or objects
Publically watching pornography
3.3. Sexual Harassment, Khusoko Policies and implied Governance
In handling Sexual Harassment, the following internal policy documents are relevant:
The Grievance Procedure is relevant where the recipient of harassment lodges a complaint of Sexual Harassment against the perpetrator.
- The Disciplinary Code is relevant in cases where disciplinary action is taken against an alleged perpetrator of Sexual Harassment.
- The organization regards sexual harassment as a serious form of misconduct and will not allow, condone or ignore this kind of behaviour in the workplace.
- Allegations of Sexual Harassment will be dealt with in terms of the disciplinary code and/or grievance procedure and is regarded as very serious misconduct and, consequently, a dismissible offence even for a first contravention.
- Khusoko respects the dignity and equality of all employees and any other persons that the organization may have dealings with and strives to create an environment which is conducive to maintaining and respecting these values.
- Complaints and Grievances in connection with Sexual Harassment will be treated with respect and will be handled with seriousness and sensitivity.
- Complaints will not be trivialized. Recipients will not be victimized before, during and/or after lodging a complaint, filing a grievance or giving evidence during disciplinary or grievance proceedings.
- The alleged perpetrator will not be disadvantaged or prejudiced if the grievance or complaint is found to be unwarranted.
- In the event that a complaint of Sexual Harassment is brought to management’s attention, appropriate action will be taken, which could include disciplinary action.