Female central government employees who filed complaints of sexual harassment will get 90 days’ leave as their grievances are looked into under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, the department of personnel and training has recently announced.
Women who file cases of sexual harassment are often threatened by the perpetrator if they are still at work. The 90 days’ paid leave that they can avail of will protect them from such instances. The leave granted to the aggrieved woman employee “shall not be debited against the leave account”, the DoPT said.
The DoPT had also issued guidelines in December saying that inquiry of cases should be completed within 30 days and should not take more than 90 days to be resolved. The special leaves will be given on the recommendation of the internal committee or the local committee formed to look into such charges, the rules said.
The move comes at a time when cases of sexual harassment are gaining more visibility. Private sector companies should also take note and put into place measures to protect the women who have reported cases of sexual harassment. Just recently, allegations against the founder of TVF, Arunabh Kumar, were dismissed by the organisation which even said that they had no recollection of the woman who had complained.
A November 2015 report found that 36 per cent of Indian companies and 25 per cent of MNCs are not compliant with the Sexual Harassment Act.