Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment in Tanzania on AfricaPay Tanzania, How to Handle Sexual Harassment in the Workplace and more on AfricaPay Tanzania.

What does the law say about sexual harassment?

The law prohibits any form of sexual harassment in the workplace as well as any other environment. The Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004 does not state much on sexual harassment, but it has called sexual harassment a form of discrimination, prohibited it and provided for a penalty of fine not exceeding five million shillings.

However, the Code of Ethics and Conduct for Public Service is very clear and detailed on the areas of sexual harassment and what constitutes sexual harassment in employment. It says:

  • A public servant shall refrain from having sexual relationships at the workplace. Likewise he/she will avoid all types of conduct which may constitute sexual harassment which include:

i) Pressure for sexual activity or sexual favors with a fellow employee.
ii) Rape, sexual battery and molestation or any sexual assault.
iii) Intentional physical conduct which is sexual in nature such as unwelcome touching, pinching, patting, grabbing and or brushing against another employees body, hair or clothes.
iv) Sexual innuendos, gestures, noises, jokes, comments or remarks to another person about one’s sex or body.
v) Offering or receiving preferential treatment, promises or rewards and offering or submitting to sexual favours.

Is there any other legislation in Tanzania providing for Sexual Harassment?

The Sexual Offences Special Provisions Act, 1998 has also criminalised sexual harassment and the following are termed as kind of behaviours amounting to sexual harassment: Causing sexual annoyance to a person, uttering any word, making any sound or gesture, or exhibiting any object, including any organ whether male or female intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that the gesture shall be seen by a woman.

Are there any measures imposed by the law to us employers to eliminate Sexual Harassment at the place of work?

The law requires every employer to strive to eliminate sexual harassment/ discrimination in any employment policy. The law has gone to the extent of wanting employers to register a plan to eliminate discrimination at the work place with the Labour Commissioner.

How can one file a complaint of Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is treated as a grievance and for organisations which have Grievance Procedures Manual, an employee will be required to follow the procedure outlined therein. The common procedure outlined under the law is for the complainant to lodge a complaint in writing to the manager or supervisor. That manager will call the complainant and the suspect and if need be their representatives and resolve the matter. If that same manager/supervisor is the suspect then to another manager higher in rank will be summonsed.

The grievance will then be handled internally and if one is not comfortable with the outcome of the grievance or the way it was handled the law allows this person to lodge an appeal to the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration. At the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration the dispute will pass first through the stage of mediation; if mediation fails then it will be refered to arbitration for a decision. If it succeeds then the matter ends there and parties return to their normal duties.

For organisations which do not have an internal grievance the complaint can be lodged straight with the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration as a dispute.

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