Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act


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The Indian Government has passed the first ever bill that protects women all over India from sexual harassment at their workplace. This slideshare explains the salient features of the Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, including - responsibilities of the employer, channels for redressal, compensation, etc.

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Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act

  1. 1. Protection of Women fromSexual Harassment atWorkplace ActPromoting safe workplaces for Indian women.Powered by
  2. 2. • The Protection of Women from SexualHarassment at Workplace Act seeks toprotect women employees fromunwelcome sexually determinedbehaviour (whether directly or byimplication).• This bill covers women employees in thegovernment as well as private sector.• This bill holds validity all over India.What is the Act?
  3. 3. • Implied or overt promise of preferentialtreatment in her employment.• Implied or overt threat of detrimentaltreatment in her employment.• Implied or overt threat about her presentor future employment status.• Conduct of any person which interfereswith her work or creates an intimidatingor offensive or hostile work environmentfor her.• Humiliating conduct constituting healthand safety problems for her.What Does the Act Outlaw?No woman shall be subjected to sexual harassment at any workplace which mayinclude, but is not limited to -
  4. 4. How Does the Bill Define Sexual Harassment?• Physical contact and advances.• A demand or request for sexual favours.• Sexually coloured remarks.• Showing pornography.• Any other unwelcome physical, verbal ornon-verbal conduct of sexual nature.
  5. 5. What are the Channels for Redressal?• Every employer who heads anorganisation with more than 10employees is required to set up anInternal Complaints Committee, headedby a woman.• For employers with less than 10employees and other organisations thatdo not fall under the above classification,a Local Complaints Committee will be setup in each city ward and rural area.• Any complaint which is submitted to thecommittee in writing must finish inquirywithin 90 days.
  6. 6. What is the Complainant Entitled to? (I)During the period of inquiry into a writtencomplaint, the complainant’s employermay be required to:• Transfer the aggrieved woman or therespondent to any other workplace, or• Grant such other relief to the aggrievedwoman as may be prescribed.The leave granted to the aggrievedwoman under this section shall be inaddition to the leave she would be entitledto otherwise if the case is proved.
  7. 7. If the charge of sexual harassment isproved by the investigating committee,then the employer or District Officer must,upon their recommendation:• Take action against the respondent(person being complained against) andpenalise them appropriately as per theorganisation’s service rules.• Deduct a sum of compensation from thesalary of the respondent. This is to be paidto the aggrieved woman or her legal heirs.What is the Complainant Entitled to? (II)The employer or the District Officer must act upon the investigating committee’srecommendation within sixty days of receiving it.
  8. 8. The compensation paid to the aggrievedwoman is determined on the basis of:• The mental trauma, pain, suffering andemotional distress caused to theaggrieved woman.• The loss in the career opportunity due tothe incident of sexual harassment.• Medical expenses incurred by the victimfor physical or psychiatric treatment.• The income and financial status of therespondent and feasibility of suchpayment in lump sum or instalments.How is the Compensation Decided?
  9. 9. Every employer must -• Provide a safe working environment• Display the order constituting the InternalCommittee in a prominent place.• Regularly undertake workshops tosensitise the employees regarding theprovisions of this Act.• Provide necessary facilities to theInternal Committee or the LocalCommittee, for dealing with the complaintand conducting inquiry.What are the Duties of the Employer? (I)
  10. 10. Every employer must also:• Assist in securing the attendance ofrespondent and witnesses before theinvestigating committee.• Make relevant information about thecomplaint available to the committee.• Provide assistance to the woman if shechooses to file a complaint under theIndian Penal Code or any other law for thetime being in force.• Take action against the perpetrator afterconclusion of the inquiry.What are the Duties of the Employer? (II)
  11. 11. • If the investigating committee concludesthat the complaint is false, it mayrecommend to the employer or the DistrictOfficer to take action against the womanor the person who has made thecomplaint.• A mere inability to substantiate acomplaint or provide adequate proof neednot be treated as a false complaint.• The malicious intent or falsehood on partof the complainant must be establishedafter a proper inquiry before any action isrecommended.What if the Complaint is False?
  12. 12. Thank YouPromoting safe workplaces for Indian women.This legislation seeks to provide for a safe and enabling environment toevery woman, irrespective of her age or employment status (other thandomestic worker working at home), free from all forms of sexualharassment by putting the onus of her safety on her employer and theproper legal authorities.Powered by
  13. 13. This 2-Minute Learning series isbrought to you by
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