What is the eligibility for forming internal committee under Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace

Dear Community,

What the eligibility for forming internal committee under THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF WOMEN AT WORKPLACE (PREVENTION, PROHIBITION AND REDRESSAL) ACT, 2013?

Which organisation should have this committee?
If there is committee, do they have to submit any reports to any government body?

Thanks.
Shefali

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Hi Shefali,

As per the PoSH Act,

Section 4: Constitution of Internal Complaints Committee.

(1) Every employer of a workplace shall, by an order in writing, constitute a Committee to be known as the “Internal Complaints Committee”:

Provided that where the offices or administrative units of the workplace are located at different places or divisional or sub-divisional level, the Internal Committee shall be constituted at all administrative units or offices.

(2) The Internal Committees shall consist of the following members to be nominated by the
employer, namely: —
(a) a Presiding Officer who shall be a woman employed at a senior level at workplace from
amongst the employees:
Provided that in case a senior level woman employee is not available, the Presiding Officer shall be nominated from other offices or administrative units of the workplace referred to in sub-section(1):
Provided further that in case the other offices or administrative units of the workplace do not
have a senior level woman employee, the Presiding Officer shall be nominated from any other workplace of the same employer or other department or organisation;
(b) not less than two Members from amongst employees preferably committed to the cause of women or who have had experience in social work or have legal knowledge;
(c) one member from amongst non-governmental organizations or associations committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment:
Provided that at least one-half of the total Members so nominated shall be women.
(3) The Presiding Officer and every Member of the Internal Committee shall hold office for such period, not exceeding three years, from the date of their nomination as may be specified by the employer.
(4) The Member appointed from amongst the non-governmental organizations or associations shall be paid such fees or allowances for holding the proceedings of the Internal Committee, by the employer, as may be prescribed.
(5) Where the Presiding Officer or any Member of the Internal Committee, —
(a) contravenes the provisions of section 16; or
(b) has been convicted for an offence or an inquiry into an offence under any law for the time
being in force is pending against him; or
(c) he has been found guilty in any disciplinary proceedings or a disciplinary proceeding is
pending against him; or
(d) has so abused his position as to render his continuance in office prejudicial to the public
interest, such Presiding Officer or Member, as the case may be, shall be removed from the Committee and the vacancy so created or any casual vacancy shall be filled by fresh nomination in accordance with the provisions of this section.

For more details:

Regards,
Bhuvana Anand

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Thank you so much, @Bhuvana_Anand !

It raises another query. So what happens if there is no such ‘formal’ committee. So far there are no such incidents or complaints, however if there are anything employee needs to talk or discuss they do with HR. And coincidently in HR team (total 2 members) are females. So would HR team be considered as Internal Committee? Thanks in advance for your guidance.

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Hi Shefali,

Organizations can make gender neutral PoSH policy and constitute an IC accordingly.

The IC shall consist of a Presiding Officer who shall be woman employed at a senior level at the workplace from amongst the employees, with Members comprising not less than 2 members from amongst employees and an External Member from an NGO or association committed to the cause of women or person familiar with issues relating to sexual harassment. Not less than half of the IC Members shall be women and a minimum of 3 Members of the IC including the Presiding Officer are to be present for conducting the inquiry.

You can refer to our templates resources Anti-sexual harassment policy template to frame the policy and comply with PoSH.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Bhuvana Anand

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Thank you, Bhuvana. This helps. :slightly_smiling_face:

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