Sexual harassment note and model for companies to implement
Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention,
Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013
Effective date of the Act
The Sexual Harassment of Women at
Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and
Redressal) Act, 2013 is effective w.e.f. 9
Is the relief under this act is limited to
any employee in the same organization?
No. The relief is provided to the woman,
even if the perpetrator is not an employee.
Does it cover the women employed in
Yes, it also seeks to provide relief to women
employed in houses for doing household
work for remuneration, whether in cash or
kind, either directly or through any agency
on a temporary, permanent, part time or
full time basis . For e.g. house maids.
What is meant by sexual harassment ?
Any act or behavior (whether directly or by
implication), which is unwelcome by a
woman is sexual harassment. It includes the
• Physical contact and advances
• A demand or request for sexual favors
• Making sexually colored remarks
• Showing pornography
• Any other unwelcome physical, verbal
or non-verbal of sexual nature
Moreover all the following circumstances
related to sexual harassment also amounts
to sexual harassment:
• Implied or explicit promise of
preferential treatment in her
• Implied or explicit threat of detrimental
treatment in her employment
• Implied or explicit threat about her
present or future employment status
• Interference with her work or creating
an intimidating or offensive or hostile
work environment for her
• Humiliating treatment likely to affect
her health or safety
What are the duties of an employer
under the Act?
• Providing a safe working environment
• Displaying the penal consequences of
sexual harassments in a conspicuous
position at workplace and the
constitution of internal Complaints
• Organizing workshops and awareness
programs at regular intervals for
sensitizing employees and orientation
programs for the members of Internal
• Providing necessary facilities too
Internal/Local Committee for dealing
with complaint and for conducting an
• Assist in securing the attendance of
attendance of respondent and witness
before the Internal/Local complaints
• Making information available to the
Committee , as it may require regarding
any complaint filed by any aggrieved
• Provide assistance to the woman, if she
want to file complaint under Indian
Penal Code or any other law for the time
being in force.
Who is an employee?
Who is an aggrieved woman?
It means the following:
• In relation to a workplace, a woman of
any age whether employed or not, who
alleges sexual harassment
• In relation to a dwelling place or house,
a woman of any age who is employed at
What are the Committees which looks
after such complaints?
Who is required to constitute Internal
• Every employer of a workplace must
constitute Internal Complaints
• If there are more than one
administrative unit/office, then such a
Committee has to be formed at each
• Any aggrieved woman working at such
workplace can file a complaint with this
• Unorganized sector is not required to
constitute this Committee.
What is the constitution of Internal
All the following members have to be
nominated by the employer:
• Presiding Officer – should be a woman
employed at a senior level amongst all
the employees at workplace.
• At least 2 members amongst employees,
who are committed to the cause of
women or have had experience in social
work or have legal knowledge.
• one member from NGO’s or
associations committed to the cause of
women or a person familiar with the
issues relating to sexual harassment
Note: Half (50%) of the committee
members should be women.
A person who is employed at a workplace for any work
on regular, temporary, ad hoc or daily wage basis
Either directly or through an agent, whether with or
without the knowledge of principal employer
For a remuneration or no remuneration
Working on a voluntary basis or otherwise
Whether the terms of employment are express or
And includes a co-worker, a contract worker,
probationer, trainee, apprentice or called by any other
To be formed by
every employer at
To be formed by
What is the term of office of the members
of Internal Complaints Committee?
Presiding Officer and every member of the
Committee shalln’t hold more than 3 years,
from the date of nomination by employer.
What is Local Complaints Committee?
• Every District Officer shall constitute a
local Complaints Committee to receive
complaints of sexual harassment from
establishments where the Internal
Complaints Committee couldn’t be
formed due to less than 10 workers or if
the complaint is against the employer
Note: Appropriate Government may notify
a District Magistrate or Additional
District Magistrate or the Collector or
Deputy Collector as a District Officer for
every district to exercise powers and
functions as per this Act.
• Women working in unorganized sector
have to go to Local Complaints
Committee for relief.
Note: Unorganized sector means an
enterprise owned by individuals or self
employed workers and engaged in the
production or sale of goods or providing
service of any kind and where the number
of workers are less than 10.
How can a woman make a complaint?
An aggrieved woman shall make a sexual
harassment complaint in writing to the
Internal Committee(if not), to Local
Committee, within 3 months from the date
of incident and in case there are series of
incidents, then within 3 months from the
date of last incident. If the complaint can’t
be made in writing, then the concerned
Committee shall provide all assistance to the
woman for making the complaint in writing.
Can the complaint be made after 3
Yes, the concerned committee can extend
the time period by 3 months, if it is satisfied
that there were genuine circumstances
because of which the woman couldn’t file
complaint within 3 months.
Can the complaint be made by legal heir?
The complaint may be made by legal heir, if
the woman is unable to make a complaint
because of her physical or mental incapacity
or death or otherwise.
Can the matter of sexual harassment be
settled amongst the parties through
Yes, if the aggrieved woman requests the
Internal/Local Committee for settling the
matter through conciliation between her
and the respondent. The process is as
• The Committee shall record the
settlement arrived and provide the
copies of the same to the woman and
• After arriving at a settlement, the
concerned Committee shall forward the
same to the employer/ District Officer
to take the requisite action as per the
Note: Monetary settlement is prohibited.
What is the process of inquiry of sexual
Note: The above procedure is also available to
an aggrieved woman, where the respondent
doesn’t comply with the settlement arrived.
How is the inquiry conducted if there are
no service rules?
Company should have a policy or rules for
the Committee to conduct an inquiry.
Service Rules may not be available for
certain segment of workers (ex. Domestic
servants) where Local Committee will
report to the Police.
What are the powers of Internal/Local
Committee, while inquiring?
The Committee shall have the same powers
as are vested in a Civil Court under the Code
of Civil Procedure, 1908.
What relief is available to aggrieved
woman during the pendency of
The woman can request for the following
from the Committee during the pendency of
• Transfer her or the respondent to any
• Granting leave upto 3 months
• To restrain the respondent from
reporting on the work
performance of the aggrieved woman or
writing her confidential report and
assign the same to another officer
• To restrain the respondent in case of an
educational institution from supervising
any academic activity of the aggrieved
Committee to submit report annual
Internal/Local Complaint Committee shall
submit an annual report to
employer/District Officer on
How is the information of sexual
harassment information disclosed?
If employed at a workplace,
file complaint with
If employed in unorganized
sector, file complaint with
Within 3 months from
Inquiry as per Service
rules, if the respondent is
Forward the complaint
to Police, if a prima facie
Inquiry shall be
completed within 90 days
Forward the Inquiry
report to Employer and to
the parties concerned
Forward the Inquiry report
to District Officer and to the
Employer to take action
within 60 days
District Officer to take
action within 60 days
The employer shall include the number of
cases filed (if any) and their disposal in the
Annual Report of the Company.
What is the punishment for non-
compliance of the Act?
An employer shall be punishable with a fine,
which may extend to Rs. 50,000.
POLICY ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF
EMPLOYEES IN ………………………. PRIVATE
1.1 The ……………… PRIVATE LIMITED, (XYZ), is
an equal employment opportunity company and
is committed to creating a healthy working
Environment that enables employees to work
without fear of prejudice, gender bias and sexual
harassment. The Company also believes that all
employees of the Company, have the right to be
treated with dignity. Sexual harassment at the
work place or other than work place if involving
employees is a grave offence and is, therefore,
1.2 The Supreme Court has also directed
Companies to lay down guidelines and a forum
for redressal of grievances related to sexual
2.0 SCOPE AND EFFECTIVE DATE
2.1 This Policy extends to all employees of the
Company and is deemed to be incorporated in
the service conditions of all employees and
comes into effect immediately.
2.2 Sexual harassment would mean and include
any of the following:
i) unwelcome sexual advances, requests or
demand for sexual favours, either explicitly or
implicitly, in return for employment, promotion,
examination or evaluation of a person towards
any company activity;
ii) unwelcome sexual advances involving verbal,
non-verbal, or physical conduct such as sexually
coloured remarks, jokes, letters, phone calls, e-
mail, gestures, showing of pornography, lurid
Stares, physical contact or molestation, stalking,
sounds, display of pictures, signs, verbal or non-
verbal communication which offends the
Individuals sensibilities and affect her/his
iii) eve teasing, innuendos and taunts, physical
confinement against one’s will and likely to
intrude upon one’s privacy;
iv) act or conduct by a person in authority which
creates the environment at workplace hostile or
intimidating to a person belonging to the other
v) conduct of such an act at work place or utside
in relation to an Employee of XYZ, or vice versa
during the course of employment; and vi) any
unwelcome gesture by an employee having
2.3 “Employee” means any person on the rolls of
the Company including those on deputation,
contract, temporary, part time or working as
3.0 COMPLAINT REDRESSAL COMMITTEE
3.1 A Committee has been constituted by the
Management to consider and redress complaints
of Sexual Harassment. The Chairman and
Members of the Committee are as follows:
1. Ms ……………..Chairperson
2. Ms. ……………… Member
3. Mr. …………………. Member 4. Concerned
Ethics Officers at locations- Member
3.2 A quorum of 3 members is required to be
present for the proceedings to take place. The
quorum shall include the Chairperson, at least
two members, one of whom shall be a lady.
4.0 REDRESSAL PROCESS
4.1 Any employee who feels and is being
sexually harassed directly or indirectly may
submit a complaint of the alleged incident to any
member of the Committee in writing with his/
her signature within 10 days of occurrence of
4.2 The Committee will maintain a register to
endorse the complaint received by it and keep
the contents confidential, if it is so desired,
except to use the same for discreet investigation.
4.3 The Committee will hold a meeting with the
Complainant within five days of the receipt of
the complaint, but no later than a week in any
4.4 At the first meeting, the Committee members
shall hear the Complainant and record her/his
allegations. The Complainant can also submit
any corroborative material with a documentary
proof, oral or written material, etc., to
substantiate his / her complaint. If the
Complainant does not wish to depose personally
due to embarrassment of narration of event, a
lady officer for lady employees involved and a
male officer for male employees, involved shall
meet and record the statement.
4.5 Thereafter, the person against whom
complaint is made may be called for a deposition
before the Committee and an opportunity will
be given to him / her to give an explanation,
where after, an “Enquiry” shall be conducted
4.6 In the event, the complaint does not fall
under the purview of Sexual Harassment or the
complaint does not mean an offence of Sexual
Harassment, the same would be dropped after
recording the reasons thereof.
4.7 In case the complaint is found to be false, the
Complainant shall, if deemed fit, be liable for
appropriate disciplinary action by the
5.0 ENQUIRY PROCESS
5.1 The Committee shall immediately proceed
with the Enquiry and communicate the same to
the Complainant and person against whom
complaint is made.
5.2 The Committee shall prepare and hand over
the Statement of Allegation to the person against
whom complaint is made and give him / her an
opportunity to submit a written explanation if
she / he so desires within 7 days of receipt of
5.3 The Complainant shall be provided with a
copy of the written explanation submitted by
the person against whom complaint is made.
5.4 If the Complainant or the person against
whom complaint is made desires any witness/es
to be called, they shall communicate in writing
to the Committee the names of witness/es
whom they propose to call.
5.5 If the Complainant desires to tender any
documents by way of evidence before the
Committee, she / he shall supply original copies
of such documents. Similarly, if the person
against whom complaint is made desires to
tender any documents in evidence before the
Committee he /she shall supply original copies
of such documents. Both shall affix his / her
signature on the respective documents to certify
these to be original copies.
5.6 The Committee shall call upon all witnesses
mentioned by both the parties.
5.7 The Committee shall provide every
reasonable opportunity to the Complainant and
to the person against whom complaint is made,
for putting forward and defending their
5.8 The Committee shall complete the “Enquiry”
within reasonable period but not beyond three
months and communicate its findings and its
recommendations for action to the VP-HR. The
report of the committee shall be treated as an
enquiry report on the basis of which an erring
employee can be awarded appropriate
5.9 The VP-HR will direct appropriate action in
accordance with the recommendation proposed
by the Committee.
5.10 The Committee shall be governed by such
rules as may be framed by the Supreme Court
orders or any other legislation enacted later on.
6.0 OTHER POINTS TO BE CONSIDERED
6.1 The Committee may recommend to the VP-
HR action which may include transfer or any of
the other appropriate disciplinary action.
6.2 The management shall provide all necessary
assistance for the purpose of ensuring full,
effective and speedy implementation of this
6.3 Where sexual harassment occurs as a result
of an act or omission by any third party or
outsider, XYZ shall take all steps necessary and
reasonable to assist the affected person in terms
of support and preventive action.
6.4 The Committee shall analyse and put up
report on all complaints of this nature at the end
of the year for submission to VP- HR.
6.5 In case the Committee find the degree of
offence coverable under the Indian Penal Code,
then this fact shall be mentioned in its report
and appropriate action shall be initiated by the
Management, for making a Police Complaint.