India's Ministry of Women and Child Development has released
a handbook on the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace
(Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.
The Handbook is meant to serve as a ready reckoner for
employers, members of the Internal Complaints Committees and
individuals aggrieved by workplace sexual harassment.
In a significant stride towards eliminating sexual harassment
against women at workplace, the Ministry of Women and Child
Development has released a handbook
("Handbook")1 on Sexual
Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and
Redressal) Act, 2013 ("Prevention of Sexual Harassment
Act")2. Though the law was introduced over
two years ago, as per the National Commission for Women, almost a
third of India's corporations and a fourth of global companies,
may not be in compliance with the Prevention of Sexual Harassment
The Handbook is an initiative to spread awareness about
workplace sexual harassment. It has been designed to serve as a
user friendly guide for employers, institutions, organisations as
well as the members of Internal Complaints Committees and Local
Complaints Committees, on the implementation of the Prevention of
Sexual Harassment Act.
The Handbook, meant to be a ready reckoner, is structured in six
sections and addresses concepts such as 'workplace',
'sexual harassment', 'aggrieved woman',
'employer', etc. Nuances of sexual harassment and whether
certain situations could amount to sexual harassment, have been
explained with examples and case studies. The Handbook also sets
out the processes to be followed as part of the complaint redressal
mechanism and prescribes best practices that may be adopted to
ensure a sexual harassment free workplace.3
It is hoped that this initiative of the Ministry of Women and
Child Development paves the way for enhanced and effective
implementation and enforcement of the Prevention of Sexual
Harassment Act. In this context, currently there is also a proposal
from the Ministry of Women and Child Development to make it
mandatory for companies to disclose whether they have put in place
an Internal Complaints Committee to inquire into sexual harassment
complaints of women employees.4
The presumption by the employer that the employee is not interested in the job when he/she is absent from work for a long duration without the authorization of the employer, has been considered as reasonable.
The constitutional principle of ‘equal pay for equal work' has been upheld by the Supreme Court of India ("SC") with respect to temporary employees' vis-à-vis permanent employees in the government sector.
On 31 December 2015 the President gave his assent to certain amendments to the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965. The amendments have increased the wage threshold for determining applicability of the Act from INR 10,000 to INR 21,000 per month.
The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 provides for the payment of statutory bonus to eligible employees. The bonus payable is to be determined on the basis of profits or on the basis of production or productivity of the establishment.
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