A sense of security at the workplace improves women’s participation in work, resulting in their economic empowerment and inclusive growth.
The sexual harassment of women at workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013, requires an employer to set up an “Internal Complaints Committee” and the Government to set up a “Local Complaints Committee” at the district level to investigate complaints regarding sexual harassment at workplace and for inquiring the complaint in the time bound manner.
· What is Workplace?
Ø Places visited by the employees during the course of employment including transportation provided by the employer for the purpose of commuting to and from the place of employment.
Ø An enterprise where the no. of workers is less than ten.
Ø A dwelling place.
Ø Government bodies, private and public sectors, organizations, Non-Government Organizations, Organization carrying on commercial, vocational, educational, entertainment, industrial, financial activities, hospitals and nursing homes, educational institutes, sports institutes and stadiums used for training individuals.
· What is Sexual Harassment?
Ø Subjecting a woman to unwelcome sexually determined behavior by physical contact, a demand for sexual favor, sexual colored remarks, showing pornography or any other unwelcome physical, the verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.
Ø Presence of circumstances of the implicit or explicit promise of preference in employment, the threat of detrimental treatment at employment, threat about the present or future employment, interference with work, offensive or hostile work environment, humiliating treatment likely to affect the lady employee’s health or safety.
· Steps to be taken by Employers-
Ø To provide a safe working environment.
Ø Display conspicuously at the workplace, what constitutes sexual harassment, penal consequences of indulging in acts that may constitute sexual harassment and the composition of internal complaints committee.
Ø Organize workshops and awareness programmes at regular intervals for sensitizing employees in the issue and legal implications of sexual harassment of workplace and organize orientation programme for members of the Internal Complaints Committee.
Ø Treat sexual harassment as misconduct under the service rules and initiate action for misconduct.