• Zero-tolerance to sexual harassment

28 March 2018 - Grant Thornton can confirm a former employee lodged a grievance of sexual harassment against a director, who was serving his resignation period at the time.  He has since left the firm.

We have a zero-tolerance attitude to any form of harassment and acknowledge this is a very serious matter. We have and will continue to take whatever actions are necessary to address this situation.

As soon as the firm was made aware of the claim we referred the complainant to our HR department. As soon as a formal complaint was made we began a grievance process.

A second grievant simultaneously laid a claim against the same director.  We drafted charge sheets and notified the director immediately that he was to attend a disciplinary hearing. He was suspended with immediate effect.

As the hearing progressed the director became ill and was admitted to hospital for three weeks. During this time his resignation became effective. As a result, we were legally unable to complete the disciplinary hearing as he was no longer an employee. We fully accept that the inconclusive outcome is hugely disappointing for all parties.

While we have strictly adhered to our internal policies and processes we recognise the impact it has had on the people concerned. We will review our policies to ensure they put our people before process and that our policies meet the high ethical standards our people and clients expect.

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.

We have reminded our staff about the firm’s sexual harassment policy which is available to everybody, and we have reminded them of the channels available for bringing any concerns to our attention. In addition to our HR team, we have an employee well-being programme available to all our people and will continue to assess the need for any additional independent support.

Ends 

Issued by Strat Comms Advisory Services on behalf of Grant Thornton South Africa

Lianne Osterberger +27 (0)83 27 27 313 | lianne@stratcomms.co.za

Notes to editors:

About Grant Thornton South Africa

Grant Thornton South Africa is a member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL). Grant Thornton South Africa was founded in 1920. We are leaders in our chosen market, providing assurance, tax and specialist business advice to dynamic organisations – listed companies, large privately held businesses and private equity backed organisations.

Grant Thornton has a national presence with offices in Durban, George, Johannesburg, Nelspruit, Polokwane, Pretoria and Rustenburg. In Africa we operate across 25 member firms in Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Kenya, Libya, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe and are ideally positioned to facilitate clients’ expansion plans in these countries.

About Grant Thornton International Ltd*

Grant Thornton is one of the world's leading organisations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms. These firms help dynamic organisations unlock their potential for growth by providing meaningful, actionable advice through a broad range of services. Proactive teams, led by approachable partners in these firms, use insights, experience and instinct to solve complex issues for privately owned, publicly listed and public sector clients. Over 31,000 Grant Thornton people, across 100 countries, are focused on making a difference to clients, colleagues and the communities in which we live and work.

Grant Thornton International is a non-practicing, international umbrella entity organised as a private company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales. References to "Grant Thornton" are to the brand under which the Grant Thornton member firms operate and refer to one or more member firms, as the context requires. Grant Thornton International and the member firms are not a worldwide partnership. Services are delivered independently by member firms, which are not responsible for the services or activities of one another. Grant Thornton International does not provide services to clients.

*All references to Grant Thornton International in the press release and this “Notes to editor” section are to Grant Thornton International Ltd.  Grant Thornton International Ltd is a non-practicing, international umbrella entity organized as a private company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales.