India’s new sexual harassment law has far reaching implications for employers and employees. Sanjay Kumar explains
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, and the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Rules, 2013, were brought into force on 9 December 2013. The act, which received presidential assent in April 2013, has far reaching implications for employers.
Apart from the new law and the rules made under it, legal protection from sexual harassment is found in the constitution of India; the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC); a circular from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) dated 13 August 2012; and the Supreme Court judgment in the case of Vishakha v State of Rajasthan. The state of Maharashtra also provides some protection under its Shops and Establishments Act.
The new act prohibits sexual harassment of women at any workplace or any behaviour of a sexual nature that would amount to sexual harassment. This includes implied or explicit promises or threats regarding a woman’s employment prospects, and intimidating or humiliating treatment.
Sanjay Kumar is the head of legal at Piramal Imaging.