The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has called for immediate action against sexual harassment in the workplace, in the light of sexual harassment allegations against a former head of forensics at accounting firm Grant Thornton Johannesburg.
The allegations surfaced last week, when one of the alleged victims claimed she had been harassed for going public with the story.
Grant Thornton CEO Paul Badrick welcomed the investigation by the CGE: “I would like to apologise to the two former employees involved. I would like to speak to both to convey my regrets, and those of all their colleagues.”
The company said it would review its policies to ensure that they meet the ethical standards of employees and clients.
“While we have strictly adhered to our internal policies and processes, we recognise the impact it has had on the people concerned. We remain committed to providing our people with a safe place to work and will not tolerate any behaviour that is counter to our values or what our people, our clients and broader society expect,” Badrick said.
Commission spokesperson Javu Baloyi said the commission is conducting investigations “as speedily as possible and we will wait for the outcome”.
Baloyi emphasised the need for engagement between companies and its employees.
“Whenever we do investigations, we always find out that employees are not aware of sexual harassment policies. They are not even aware of what constitutes sexual harassment.
“This trend is very apparent in private and public companies,” Baloyi said.