New Delhi: Women employees who have complained of sexual harassment can get three months leave during the pendency of inquiry, Union minister Jitendra Singh informed the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. The government does not maintain any centralised data on the number of sexual harassment complaints, he said.
Section 12 of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 provides for grant of leave up to three months to an aggrieved woman employee during the pendency of inquiry in to her case, he said in a written reply.
“Such leave may be granted by the employer if a written request from the aggrieved employee duly recommended by the local committee or the internal committee, as the case may be, is received,” said the minister of state for personnel, public grievances and pensions.
To a question seeking details on the number of sexual harassment complaints registered by women employees as on date, the minister said “centralised data is not maintained”. As per the law, sexual harassment includes physical contact and advances, demand or request for sexual favours, sexually coloured remarks, showing any pornography and any other unwelcome physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.
Besides, implied or explicit promise of preferential or detrimental treatment in employment; implied or explicit threat about her present or future employment status; interference with her work, creating an intimidating, offensive or hostile work environment for her; and humiliating treatment likely to affect her health or safety may also amount to sexual harassment.