Women employees who complain of sexual harassment can get leave for three months on the recommendation of the panel mandated to receive the complaints, the government informed Lok Sabha on 10.8.2016.
Union minister Jitendra Singh, however, conceded that the personnel department – that plays the role of the government’s human resource manager – did not track sexual harassment cases or keep a count.
Section 12 of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 provides for grant of leave up to three months to an aggrieved woman employee during the pendency of inquiry in to her case, Singh said in a written reply.
“Such leave may be granted by the employer if a written request from the aggrieved employee duly recommended by the local committee or the internal committee, as the case may be, is received,” said the Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
Sexual harassment includes physical contact and advances, demand or request for sexual favours, sexually coloured remarks, showing any pornography and any other unwelcome physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.
Besides, implied or explicit promise of preferential or detrimental treatment in employment; implied or explicit threat about her present or future employment status; interference with her work, creating an intimidating, offensive or hostile work environment for her; and humiliating treatment likely to affect her health or safety may also amount to sexual harassment.
Hindustan Times, 11.08.2016