Today's Labour News

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Rhodes UniversityTimesLIVE reports that a Rhodes University lecturer accused of sexual harassment was given a reprieve, just 20 days before his contract with the university ended.  

He had been brought before a disciplinary hearing in July last year and found guilty of sexual harassment, but he took the decision to the high court in Grahamstown to have it declared “unlawful and void” on technical grounds.  The lecturer submitted to the court that the university had “failed to ensure a prompt resolution and conclusion of the disciplinary action” and as the parties involved in the hearing had resolved the matter between them in an informal manner, any action taken against him was tantamount to ‘double jeopardy’.  Moreover, his disciplinary hearing was dealt with under a new harassment policy even though the old policy, although under review, was still in force.  The judge found that the university’s disciplinary code and the “old harassment policy” formed part of the lecturer’s employment contract and that the institution’s failure to adhere to the two documents amounted to a breach of an enforceable contract.  The judge was not persuaded that the breach was not material and declared the disciplinary hearing against the lecturer unlawful and void.  The ruling was made on 11 December, while the lecturer’s employment contract with Rhodes ended on 31 December.

  • Read Philani Nombembe’s report on this story in full at TimesLIVE

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