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Women fighting harassment will get 90 days’ leave

Source | The Times Of India

NEW DELHI: Women employees of the central government who file complaints of sexual harassment at the workplace now have the option of getting 90 days paid leave during pendency of the inquiry under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.

The move is significant as there have been complaints of those accused of sexual harassment trying to influence or threaten the victims.

The special leave in this case will be given on the recommendation of the internal committee or the local committee formed to look into such charges.

The leave granted to the aggrieved woman employee “shall not be debited against the leave account”, the department of personnel and training (DoPT) said.

The DoPT also issued Central Civil Services (Leave) Amendment Rules, 2017 to allow the new provision.

In December, the DoPT had issued guidelines to deal with sexual harassment of women at the workplace. The guidelines stipulated that the inquiry of cases must be completed within 30 days and under no circumstances should it take more than 90 days from the date of the complaint.

Ministries and departments have to keep a watch on the complainant so as to ensure that she is not victimised in any manner because of her having filed the complaint. All ministries have to submit monthly reports to the ministry of women and child development so that progress can be monitored. As per the guidelines, the aggrieved woman had the option of sending a representation to the secretary or head of the organisation in case she felt she was being victimised because of her complaint. The authority concerned would be required to dispose of this complaint within 15 days.

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