You (Employer) only form Internal Complaints Committee under section 4;
## Constitution of Internal Complaints Committee.—
(1) Every employer of a workplace shall, by an order in writing, constitute a Committee to be known as the “Internal Complaints Committee”:
-If the offices or administrative units of the workplace are located at different places or divisional or sub-divisional level, the Internal Committee shall be constituted at all administrative units or offices.
(2) The Internal Committees shall consist of the following members to be nominated by the employer
(a) a Presiding Officer who shall be a woman employed at a senior level at workplace from among the employees:
-In case a senior level woman employee is not available, the Presiding Officer shall be nominated from other offices or administrative units of the workplace.
-In case the other offices or administrative units of the workplace do not have a senior level woman employee, the Presiding Officer shall be nominated from any other workplace of the same employer or other department or organisation;
(b) not less than two Members from among employees preferably committed to the cause of women or who have had experience in social work or have legal knowledge;
(c) one member from among non-governmental organisations or associations committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment, at least one-half of the total Members so nominated shall be women.
(3) The Presiding Officer and every Member of the Internal Committee shall hold office for such period, not exceeding three years, from the date of their nomination as may be specified by the employer.
(4) The Member appointed from among the non-governmental organisations or associations shall be
paid such fees or allowances by the employer.
##CONSTITUTION OF LOCAL COMPLAINTS COMMITTEE
-Notification of District Officer.—The 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 or discharge functions under this Act.
-Constitution of Local Committee—
(1) Every District Officer shall constitute in the district concerned, a committee to be known as the "Local Committee" to receive complaints of sexual harassment from establishments where the "Internal Committee"has not been constituted due to having less than ten workers or if the complaint is against the employer himself.
(2) The District Officer shall designate one nodal officer in every block, taluka and tehsil in rural or tribal area and ward or municipality in the urban area, to receive complaints and forward the same to the
concerned "Local Committee" within a period of seven days.
(3) The jurisdiction of the "Local Committee" shall extend to the areas of the district where it is constituted.
Composition, tenure and other terms and conditions of "Local Committee"
(1) The "Local Committee" shall consist of the following members to be nominated by the District Officer
(a) a Chairperson to be nominated from among the eminent women in the field of social work and committed to the cause of women;
(b) one Member to be nominated from among the women working in block, taluka or tehsil or ward or municipality in the district;
(c) two Members, of whom at least one shall be a woman, to be nominated from among such non-governmental organisations or associations committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment, which may be
-at least one of the nominees should, preferably, have a background in law or legal knowledge
-at least one of the nominees shall be a woman belonging to the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes or the Other Backward Classes or minority community notified by the Central Government, from time to time;
(d) the concerned officer dealing with the social welfare or women and child development in the district, shall be a member ex official.
(2) The Chairperson and every Member of the Local Committee shall hold office for such period, not
exceeding three years, form the date of their appointment as may be specified by the District Officer.
(3) The Chairperson or Members of the Local Committee other than the Members shall be entitled to such fees or allowances for holding the proceedings of the Local Committee as may be prescribed.
## Complaint of sexual harassment—
(1) Any aggrieved woman may make, in writing, a complaint of sexual harassment at workplace to the Internal Committee if so constituted, or the Local Committee, in case it is not so constituted, within a period of three months from the date of incident and in case of a series of incidents, within a period of three months from the date of last incident.
-If such complaint cannot be made in writing, the Presiding Officer or any Member of the Internal Committee or the Chairperson or any Member of the Local Committee shall render all reasonable assistance to the woman for making the complaint in writing
-If the Internal Committee or the Local Committee may, for the reasons to be recorded in writing, extend the time limit not exceeding three months , if it is satisfied that the circumstances were such which prevented the woman from filing a complaint within the said period.
(2) Where the aggrieved woman is unable to make a complaint on account of her physical or mental
incapacity or death or otherwise, her legal heir or such other person as may be prescribed may make a
complaint under this section.
##Duties that the employers must comply at Workplace:
Duties of employers do not end with constituting an ICC or having a sexual harassment policy. Non-compliance with the provisions may result in penalties being imposed on the organisations, which may include fines and cancellation of the business licenses.
Let check whether your organization is 100% compliant under the new sexual harassment prevention law-
1.Have you created an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) in all offices / branches of the organization to which the act applies?
-Employer must constitute an ‘Internal Complaints Committee’ (“ICC”) at each office or branch that employs at least 10 employees. The law requires all organizations having 10 or more employees, even if they do not have women employees to constitute an ICC.
-ICC is an Important even third parties like contractors, customers and anyone who is visiting the premises of an organization to file a complaint of sexual harassment that took place with the workplace.
2.Is your organization’s anti-sexual harassment policy aligned with the provisions of the new law such as definition clauses, procedural mechanisms, interim remedies?
- It is important that the policy is drafted in accordance with the provisions of the new Act and clearly incorporates such provisions as laid down under the law.
-For example, the new law in India, considers transportation provided by the office to be part of the workplace and any incident of sexual harassment that happened in the transport will be treated in the same manner as if it happened in the office premises.
3. Have you made changes to the employment contracts to make the employees legally bound for the acts of sexual harassment in the workplace?
- the service rules, standing orders or the employment contract, as the case may be, should clearly state that sexual harassment will be treated as a form of misconduct.
-Ideally, organisations should insert a specific clause in the employment agreement for all new hires stating that sexual harassment will be considered as misconduct.
-In case of existing employees, the organization can ask the employees to sign on the amended service rules and share a copy of the sexual harassment policy and submit the same with the HR.
-Consequences for misconduct should be specified – apart from deduction of wages or other measure such as termination of employment, these could also include other measures specified in the Employment Rules, such as termination of employment or transfer to another location.
4. Do you organize workshops and awareness programmes periodically for,
a) sensitizing employees on implications of sexual harassment at the workplace and
b) organizing orientation programmes for members of the Internal Complaints Committee?
-Employers have a responsibility to sensitize employees regarding sexual harassment issues by organizing workshops and seminars.
-Dissemination of the policy against sexual harassment.
-Carrying out orientation programs for the members of ICC.
-Conducting capacity and skill-building programs for the members of ICC.
-Conducting awareness programs and dialogue forums involving members from women’s group, mother’s committee, Panchayati raj institutions, urban local bodies and other appropriate bodies.
-Publish names and contact details of the members of ICC for easy access by employees and others working in the organization
-Use modules developed by State Governments for conducting awareness programmes for employees regarding the provision of the law.
-Employers may consider inviting legal practitioners who have worked on women’s rights issues, representatives of NGOs, organizations working on the issues of women’s rights or human rights for such orientation and sensitization programs.
5. Do you display conspicuously at the workplace, the penal consequences of indulging in acts that may constitute sexual harassment and the composition of the Internal Complaints Committee?
-To create awareness and continuous sensitization for the employees, it is essential that the organization put up notices in conspicuous places in the workplace about the penal consequences of indulging in sexual harassment, and also about the composition and contact information of the members of the ICC.
-This can be done through fixing attractive posters around the offices and especially at places where the employees will obviously read the posters, for examples, near cafeteria, water cooler, coffee machines, washrooms, photocopier machines, etc.
6. Do you submit necessary information pertaining to sexual harassment to specified authorities?
-several filing and reporting requirements for employers:
A) Preparation of annual reports-
-Proprietorship, firms and LLPs – the employer is required to inform the District Officer appointed under the Sexual Harassment Act about the number of cases filed under this act with his organization and their disposal status. Annual report are not required for such types of employer.
-Companies, societies and trusts-Certain businesses are required to file an annual report with a government body.
for example, companies must file their annual reports with the Registrar of Companies. Similarly, public trusts and societies (most NGOs are structured as societies or public trusts) are also required to file such reports with the Charity Commissioner or the Registrar of Societies. In such cases (where annual reports are to be filed), information about sexual harassment must be included in the annual report.
B) Report implementation of interim measures to the ICC or the Local Complaints Committee (LCC)
How will the ICC or the LCC know that an interim measure has been implemented by the employer? For this purpose, whenever the committee awards an interim measure, the employer is required to send a report to the committee on the implementation of the interim measure.
C) Monitor submission of reports by the ICC
The ICC is required to submit a number of reports pertaining to its activities (which need to be submitted at the end of each calendar year, ie, after 31st December) or forward copies of settlements under the Sexual Harassment Act. The employer is required to ensure that these actions taken by the ICC on a timely basis.
7. Do you help your employee to initiate legal action against the perpetrator for sexual harassment (if the perpetrator is not an employee) under criminal law?
-There can be many situations where it can be said that sexual harassment has occurred at the workplace but where the person involved in the harassment is not under control of the employer. in such cases, if the woman requests, the employer is obligated under the law to provide adequate assistance to her in approaching the police and filing an FIR.
8. Do you provide necessary facilities to the complaints committee for dealing with sexual harassment instances?
The ICC will require facilitation and assistance from the employer’s end to carry out inquiries. Facilitation necessary from the employer’s end could include:
a.Provision of a venue where ICC proceedings can be carried out in a confidential manner.
b.Providing necessary logistical support in terms of furniture and stationery
c.Ensuring that committee members (if they operate from the employer’s premises) have access to secure communication (internet, phone connections, postal services) so that inquiry and hearings can be smoothly carried out.
d.Providing access to company policies and manuals, any basic legal literature which is possessed by the employer, etc.
e.The employer must assist the ICC in securing the attendance of the person alleged to be the perpetrator and any witnesses before the ICC or the Local Committee – for example, he could arrange for transport in appropriate cases.
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Thanks & Regards,