Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, (Important) (Download PDF)

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Online complaint management allows workers to lodge complaints of sexual harassment at workplace. This is for women working in both public and private organizations. The portal strives to achieve goals of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act (the SH Act), 2013.

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Image of Closing The Gender Gap At Work

Image of Closing The Gender Gap At Work

Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013

Scope

  • Applicable to the organized as well as the unorganized sector- “workplace” applies to government bodies, private and public sector organisations, non-governmental organisations, organisations carrying on commercial, vocational, educational, entertainment, industrial, financial activities, hospitals and nursing homes, educational institutes, sports institutions and stadiums used for training individuals.

  • Covers places visited by employees during the course of employment or for reasons arising out of employment - including transportation provided by the employer for commuting to and from the place of employment.

  • Employee can be regular, temporary, ad hoc employees, individuals engaged on daily wage basis, either directly or through an agent, contract labour, co-workers, probationers, trainees, and apprentices, with or without the knowledge of the principal employer, whether for remuneration or not, working on a voluntary basis or otherwise, whether the terms of employment are express or implied.

Internal Complaints Committee and Local Complaints Committee

  • Requires an employer to set up an ‘Internal Complaints Committee’ (“ICC”) at each office or branch, of an organization employing at least 10 employees.

  • Government sets up a ‘Local Complaints Committees’ (“LCC”) at the district level to investigate complaints regarding sexual harassment from establishments where the ICC has not been constituted.

  • Law sets out the constitution of the committees, process to be followed for making a complaint and inquiring into the complaint in a time bound manner.

Interim Reliefs

Empowers the ICC and the LCC to recommend to the employer, at the request of the aggrieved employee measures such as:

  • Transfer of the aggrieved woman or the respondent to any other workplace

  • Granting leave to the aggrieved woman up to a period of 3 months in addition to her regular statutory/contractual leave entitlement.

Process for Complaint and Inquiry

  • Following flowchart provides process followed by the aggrieved employee to make the complaint and by the employer to inquire into the complaint.

  • Allows female employees to settle the matter although a monetary settlement.

Image of Sexual Harassment of Women At Workplace

Image of Sexual Harassment of Women At Workplace

Image of Sexual Harassment of Women At Workplace

Action Against Frivolous Complaints

  • Ensures that the protections contemplated under the Sexual Harassment Act do not get misused

Employer’s Obligations

In addition to ensuring compliance with the other provisions stipulated, the Sexual Harassment Act casts certain obligations upon the employer to:

  • Provide a safe working environment

  • Display conspicuously at the workplace, the penal consequences of indulging in acts that may constitute sexual harassment and the composition of the Internal Complaints Committee

  • Organize workshops and awareness programmes at regular intervals for sensitizing employees on the issues and implications of workplace sexual harassment and organizing orientation programmes for members of the Internal Complaints Committee

  • Treat sexual harassment as a misconduct under the service rules and initiate action for misconduct.

  • The employer is also required to monitor the timely submission of reports by the ICC.

Fines under the Act

  • Failure to constitute an Internal Complaints Committee or non-compliance with any provisions can result in a monetary penalty of up to INR 50, 000.

  • Repetition of the same offence provide double punishment or de-registration of the entity or revocation of any statutory business licenses.

More About the Portal

  • New SHe-Box portal offers the facility of making online complaints of sexual harassment at workplace to all women employees in the country including government and private employees.

  • Women who have already filed a written complaint with the concerned Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) or Local Complaint Committee (LCC) constituted under the SH Act are also eligible to file their complaint through this portal.

  • Probably first ever time a country has launched an online portal to receive complaints of sexual harassment at workplace.

Internal Committee for Sexual Harassment

  • Under the 2013 SH Act setting up of Internal Complaint Committees is mandatory at all workplaces

  • WCD Ministry provides manuals and training programmes for Internal Complaint Committees

  • SHe-Box has been launched to provide platform to aggrieved women to make their complaints directly so that suitable action is taken to redress their grievances.

How Does the New SHe-Box Fit In?

  • Once a complaint is submitted to the portal, it will be directly sent to the ICC or LCC of the concerned employer.

  • Through this portal, WCD as well as complainant can monitor the progress of inquiry conducted by the ICC or LCC.

  • Portal is based on feedback from worldwide social media campaign #MeToo, where women related their experience of facing sexual harassment and abuse.

  • SHe-Box provides an option of interacting with Ministry of WCD through this portal, with an assured time-bound response.

  • Portal provides information on 112 institutions empaneled by MWCD to conduct training and workshops on sexual harassment at the workplace.

Importance of Workplace Safety for Women

  • Ensuring the dignity and safety of women is first priority for any digital society.

- Published/Last Modified on: December 1, 2017

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