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 on 3 September 2012. It was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 26 February 2013.
The Act defines sexual harassment as unwelcome acts or behavior (whether directly or by implication) namely, physical contact and advances, a demand or request for sexual favors, making sexually colored remarks, showing pornography, any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature4. Any act of unwelcome and sexual nature shall be considered as sexual harassment. “undoubtedly, physical contact or advances would constitute sexual harassment provided such physical contact is a part of the sexually determined behaviour. …a physical contact which has no undertone of a sexual nature and is not occasioned by the gender of the complainant may not necessarily amount to sexual harassment
An aggrieved woman can file a written complaint to ICC/LC from three months from the date of the incident and in case of series of such incidents within three months from the last such incident. However, any delay in filing the complaint can be condoned by the committee upto further three months
The important feature of the Act is that it envisages the setting up of Internal Complaints Committee at every office of the organisation or institution, having more than 10 employees, to hear and redress complaints pertaining to sexual harassment. Where the number of employees are less than 10
There should be an Internal Complaint Committee heading by Woman employee of the establishment and 50% of the committee should be Women employees
The Act lays down certain duties of the employer and District Officer under Section 19 and 20 respectively such as creating awareness on sexual harassment at workplace, sensitize the employees, assist the complaints committee in conducting the inquiry, act upon recommendations of the committee, monitor timely submissions of reports of the committee etc.
The non compliance of the provisions of the Act by the employer may result in fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees and can also lead to cancellation of his license or withdrawal, or non-renewal, or approval, or cancellation of the registration, as the case may be
An Act to provide for the regulation and control of training of apprentices and for matters connected therewith
The main purpose of the Act is to provide practical training to technically qualified persons in various trades. The objective is promotion of new skilled manpower. The scheme is also extended to engineers and diploma holders.
The Act has got added importance in view of thrust of present Government on training and employment generation.
The employer is required to provide training facilities to apprentices. Multiple employers to come together, either themselves or through an approved agency to provide apprenticeship training to apprentices under them. Thus, the facilities of training apprentices in theoretical subjects can be shared among employers.
The employer is required to pay minimum stipend to apprentice. In some cases, burden of part of stipend is borne by Government.
The number of apprentices to be trained will be on the basis of number of workers employed in that industry, directly or indirectly (i.e. direct employment or through contractor).
The period of training for each designated trade has been specified. The apprentice should have specified educational qualification and minimum physical fitness as specified.
Employer is required to enter into Apprenticeship Contract with Apprentice. The contract is required to be registered with Apprenticeship Adviser.
Hours of work and leave of apprentices will be as per the discretion or policy of the employer.
A portal site is being developed to use Information Technology to file Apprenticeship Contract, periodic returns, etc. The employer is liable for compensation in case of injury to the Apprentice, as per provisions of Employee’s Compensation Act.