• The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 download 2.00MB
  • Sexual Harassmet Policydownload 191KB

Workplace Sexual Harassment

What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is an unwelcome sexually determined behaviour towards a woman in a workplace such as:

  • Physical contact or advances,
  • Demanding /asking/requesting for sexual favours
  • Making sexually tinted remarks
  • showing pornography
  • Cracking lewd jokes
  • Abusing verbally
  • Circulating lewd rumours
  • Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature

When did Policy for addressing sexual harassment in work place formed?
The Sexual harassment at workplace Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on 2nd of September 2012 and came into existence as 'The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.'

Who need to implement sexual harassment policy?
Every company/ organization with a staff of more than 10 people and have women working, as employee, interims, part time employment, temporary employment, is required to adopt sexual harassment policy at every office or branch.

What are employer's obligations regarding sexual harassment policy and how it can be implemented?
Employer must treat sexual harassment as misconduct and shall have a mechanism to initiate action for such misconduct.

It is duty of every employer to ensure a safe and favourable working environment for its female employees. Employer shall also be responsible for the following:

  • Constitute a committee known as an ‘Internal Complaints Committee’
  • ICC must have a four member:
    1. Senior female employee as chairperson ,
    2. Minimum two more employees as member,
    3. One member from any NGO working in the field of women empowerment.
  • Prohibit, prevent and discourage any acts of sexual harassment.
  • Properly implement the sexual harassment policy and adhering to all the specification.
  • Implementation of recommendations of the Complaints Committee (as defined hereinafter)
  • Sensitizing employees about sexual harassment issues.
  • Create awareness about the Policy amongst its employees. Policy must be easily accessible to all the employees.
  • Generate awareness about the policy through, notifications, circulation and publication of the same.
  • If a complaint is made by any female employee it is mandatory for employer to look into the complain of sexual harassment in their office.
  • Employer is responsible for providing fair and impartial procedures for resolution, settlement or prosecution of acts of sexual harassment.
  • Employer will provide/arrange for counselling both the complaint and the accused. Employer will make them aware of all implications of filling/ not filling a complaint formally.
  • In a situation where ICC become aware of any act(s) of sexual harassment, the employer shall have the right to initiate "suo motu" action, even in the absence of a formal complaint by victim employee.
  • In the event of sexual harassment in the office employer can consider some interim reliefs for aggrieved employee such as:
    1. Transfer of the aggrieved woman employee or the respondent to any other workplace;
    2. Granting leave to the aggrieved woman employee (up to a period of 3 months in addition to her regular statutory/ contractual leave entitlement).
  • The employer is also required to monitor the timely submission of reports by the ICC.
  • In event the employer failing to follow the guidelines; he is liable and can be fined up to the INR. 50,000. A repetition of the same offence could result in the punishment being doubled and / or de-registration of the entity or revocation of any statutory business licenses.