Cyberbullying and the Cybercrimes Act | Unpacking sextortion for ordinary citizens
Workplace bullying has been prevalent for many years across multiple industries, sectors, and corporations and saddest of all is that most people do not speak up for fear of reprisal and humiliation. The perpetrator bullies and the victim shies away from the confrontation or when the victim speaks up, it is usually frowned upon by HR or the Senior Manager and the victim is then made out to be unstable, a poor performer or generally a troublemaker and quickly terminated from the organisation through either “performance management or retrenchment”.
The world is currently in crisis due to the deadly COVID-19 virus which has wreaked havoc on the global economy, destroyed many families and changed the face of the working world forever. Many weaknesses have been exposed such as poor organisational strategies, ineffective business continuity plans, capacity planning and a complete rethink of real estate and office space.
As the world grapples to develop vaccines and contain the spread of the virus, work must continue, and many organisations have realised that office space is no longer required for many of their employees and now opt to allow staff to work from home on a flexi and some staff a more permanent basis.
With the new work dynamics, comes new challenges requiring innovative solutions and a paradigm shift in thought leadership from traditional to a modern-day approach. What that fully means is still uncertain and will be tweaked and modelled into a strategy that will be a best fit for the new world of work model.
As more and more people work remotely, complacency sets in and there is a blur between real and perceived and many people are quick to forget the required levels of professionalism due to long bouts of isolation and reduced levels of supervision. This dynamic unfortunately becomes a breeding ground for cyberbullying and improper conduct. Saddest still is that cyberbullying happens behind a screen where the person doing the bullying can remain anonymous and be situated a thousand miles away. It is also alarming that cyberbullying is so rife amongst children and teenagers as they engage one another on social media platforms.
A major legislative breakthrough
On the 20th of August 2020 the South African government released a Gazette on the draft Code of Good Conduct on the Elimination and Prevention of Violence and Harassment in the world of work that is open for public comment for 60 days post its publication. This is a major step in legislating the elimination and prevention of bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, gender-based violence and the discrimination against LGTB
What does this mean for you and me? For the employer?
Essentially bullying and harassment will not be condoned, and employers must be compliant to the ratified Code by ensuring that all employees are aware of the measures taken in the workplace to prevent inter alia workplace bullying. Interventions and training programmes must be put in place to assist in the identification of any conduct that would fall within the classification of workplace violence and harassment, this includes: – Early detection systems, training and commitment from senior leadership becomes mandatory. This will contribute immensely to the elimination and prevention of behavior that is deviant to the prescriptions of the Code. The victims of bullying will have protection under the law in that Employers will now be held accountable to ensure protocols are in place to avoid being guilty of codified breaches. Essentially under the new dispensation, Employers are strongly encouraged to adopt a Zero Tolerance Approach to ensure that ethical behavioral standards are in place and good corporate governance is sustained.
Outcome of the talk is a call to action to drive organisational awareness and for the audience to identify and understand workplace bullying, understand the dynamics of cyberbullying and remote work post covid and be aware of the legislated compliance that will soon be implemented in the world of work. This is a call to action for each member to realise the economic impact that bullying has on the bottom line and the cultural damage due to not being addressed effectively. Most of us have been affected by bullying, possibly will be bullied, and know of someone that has been bullied. Bullying is so rife in organisations that it should be classified as a global workplace pandemic.
Join Mr Grant Saptoe as he unpacks the prevalent issues within cybercrime across multiple industries, sectors and corporations.
Note: Slides will entirely focus on workplace bullying and cyberbullying and the economic and mental impact to the victim and the organisation, the law and the call to action from the business community to take stand and root out bullying as part of compliance but more for leadership development.