During our interactions with different Employers, it seems, many of them are under the impression that ‘The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act,2013 (the Act) is a procedural law to handle the complaints of the female employees alleging sexual harassment.
Many a time, we were told that “Oh..we do not have any complaint; so we don’t worry about the Act.
It is not true; Rather it’s against the spirit of the law;
In fact, the preamble of the Act indicates beyond doubt that that the sexual harassment against women employees is violation of the fundamental rights including the “Equality” and “Right to Live with Dignity”.
The compliance of the Act is mandatory even if no complaint. It’s the duty of every employer to ensure that each and every employees and visitors be aware that you have a ‘zero tolerant policy’ against ‘sexual harassment’ at your workplace. When we talk about policy it’s just not a well drafted document; but it should be circulated and the message should be amply conveyed, beyond doubt.
Therefore, the “Prohibition” and Prevention of the sexual harassment at workplace precedes the “Redressal”. Handling of the complaint (Redressal) is certainly one of the objects; but not the primary one.
Primary Objects of the Act:
the law insists the steps to prohibit the harassment at workplace. there are actions stipulated under the Act for every employer to act upon.
Chapter IV of the Act (Duties of the Employer) insists every employer to ensure the safe working environment to the women employees. It also includes:
(a) Safety from the persons coming into contact at workplace;
(b) Display the penal provisions under the Act and the consequences of sexual harassment;
(c) Organise Workshops & awareness programs.
VLegal is a Government of India empanelled Institution for conducting workshops and awareness programs under the Act.