Advisories issued to State/UT Governments for effective implementation of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 mandates all the workplace which include any department, organisation, undertaking, establishment, enterprise, institution, office, branch or unit which is established, owned, controlled or wholly or substantially financed by funds provided directly or indirectly by the appropriate Government or the local authority or a Government company or a corporation or a co-operative society having more than 10 workers to constitute Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) for receiving complaints of sexual harassment.

The Act casts an obligation upon all the employers to constitute Internal Complaint Committee. If any employer fails to constitute an Internal Complaint Committee, or contravenes or attempts or abets contravention of other provisions of this Act or any rules made there under, he shall be punishable with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees.

Section 23 of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013 casts responsibility on the appropriate Government to monitor the implementation of this Act and maintain data on the number of cases filed and disposed of and there is no centralized mechanism to collect such data.

The State Government have been advised to ensure the compliance of the Act from time to time. Ministry of Corporate Affairs along with the industry bodies, Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Society, Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCI), and National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) have also been requested to ensure effective implementation of the Act amongst their members in private sector.

On 2nd June 2017, the Ministry has issued advisories to all States/UTs Government for effective implementation of the Act advising them to organize workshops and awareness programs in the Departments/offices for sensitizing the employees about the provisions of the said Act. Secretary Industries/Commerce of the States/UTs have also been advised to organize workshops and awareness programs in each and every industry, business house, private sector entity.

This information was given by Minister of State for Women & Child Development, Smt Krishna Raj in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.

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