The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 is a legislative act in India that seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work. It was passed by the Lok Sabha (the lower house of the Indian Parliament) on 3 September 2012. It was passed by the Rajya Sabha (the upper house of the Indian Parliament) on 26 February 2013. The Bill got the assent of the President on 23 April 2013. The Act came into force from 9 December 2013. This statute superseded the Vishakha Guidelines for prevention of the sexual harassment introduced by the Supreme Court of India.
It was reported by the International Labour Organization that very few Indian employers were compliant to this statute. Most Indian employers have not implemented the law despite the legal requirement that any workplace with more than 10 employees need to implement it. According to a FICCI-EY November 2015 report, 36% of Indian companies and 25% among MNCs are not compliant with the Sexual Harassment Act, 2013. The government has threatened to take stern action against employers who fail to comply with this law.
Important Key Point :-
• It seeks to protect women from sexual
harassment at their place of work. The Act
defines sexual harassment at the workplace
and creates a mechanism for redressal of
• The definition of “aggrieved woman,” who
will get protection under the Act, is extremely
wide to cover all women, irrespective of their
age or employment status and whether in the
organized or unorganized sectors, public or
private, and covers clients, customers and
domestic workers as well.
• The Act covers concepts of quid pro quo
harassment and hostile work environment as
forms of sexual harassment if they occur in
connection with an act or behaviour of sexual
• An internal complaint committee (ICC) is
mandatory in every private or public
organisation that has 10 or more employees.
• The Internal Complaints Committee has been
given powers of a civil court for summoning,
discovery and production of documents etc.
• Each Internal Committee requires
membership from an NGO or association
committed to the cause of women.
• A ‘Local Complaints Committee’ is required to
be constituted in every district by the
respective State government (which will
receive complaints from organizations having
less than 10 workers or if the complaint is
against the employer himself).
o An additional ‘Local Complaints
Committee’ shall also be constituted at
the block level to address complaints in
situations where the complainant does
not have recourse to an Internal
Complaints Committee or where the
complaint is against the employer himself.
• It also provides safeguards against false or
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