Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013
According to this Act, it’s now mandatory for every Employer to establish an Internal Complaint Committee for a workplace, consisting of ten or more employees; which will help the prevention of sexual harassment of women at work place leading to a good work environment.
- All workplaces that have 10 employees or more are required to constitute an Internal Complaints Committee or Internal Committee (ICC/IC), as per the Act which provides that where the offices or administrative units of the workplace are located at different places or divisional or sub-divisional level, the ICC/IC shall have to be constituted at all administrative units or offices
- The Act provides for a minimum of four members for the ICC/IC and states that half of IC members will necessarily have to be women and that among the four members,a presiding officer for ICC/IC will have to be appointed, and it will have to be a woman at a senior level in that office.
According to Section 19 of this act:- Duties of employer: Every employer shall-
- Provide a safe working environment at the workplace which shall include safety from the persons coming into contact at the workplace;
- Display at any conspicuous place in the workplace, the penal consequences of sexual harassment; and the order constituting the Internal Complaint Committee(ICC/IC) under section 4;
- Organize workshops and awareness programs at regular intervals for sensitizing the employees with the provisions of the act and orientation programs for the members of the Internal Complaints Committee(ICC/IC) in the manner as may be prescribed;
- 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 of the ICC.
Every Employer in India is legally obligated to perform these above mentioned duties and
(1) If the employer fails to-
- Constitute an Internal Committee under section 4;
- Take action under sections 13, 14 and 22;
He shall be punishable with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees.
(2) If any employer, after having been previously convicted of an offence punishable under this act subsequently commits and is convicted of the same offence, he shall be liable to-
- Twice the punishment, which might have been imposed on a first conviction;
- Cancellation, of his license by the government or local authority required for carrying on his business or activity;
Format of the ICC
- According to Section 4 of this act:- Constitution of Internal Complaints Committee: The Internal Committee shall consist of the following members to be nominated by the employer, namely-
- A Presiding Officer who shall be a woman employee at a senior level at workplace from amongst the employees;
- Not less than two members from amongst employees preferably committed to the cause of women or who have had experience in social work or have legal knowledge;
- One member from amongst Non-Governmental Organizations or associations committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment;
|1.||Senior Female Member||Presiding Officer u/s 4(a)|
|2.||Member (according to above mentioned point (b))||Member|
|3.||Member (according to above mentioned point (b))||Member|
|4.||Member (according to above mentioned point (c))||External Member|
WHY IS EXTERNAL MEMBER IN ICC/IC NECESSARY?
According to Section 4(c) of this Act:-
One member from among Non-Governmental Organizations or associations committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment(who can be a lawyer with experience in causes related to women or a member of an NGO/Association working for the betterment of women);
Make your workplace secure and legally compliant
We provide legal service to assist in the formation and proceedings of ICC. We will hold awareness programs & we will provide you an efficient and effective external member who will make sure that the company remains safe and the proceedings are according to the law.