Do you know what an ICC is? Does your company have an ICC? Non-compliance with the provision to constitute an ICC has significant consequences – an employer who fails to constitute an ICC as per the Sexual Harassment Act will be liable for a monetary penalty of up to INR 50,000 if a complaint is made to the magistrate.
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (Sexual Harassment Prevention Act) came into enactment in on 23rd April 2013 and contemplates the constitution of Internal Complaints Committee (“ICC”) at the work place. Every workplace employing 10 or more employees is required to constitute an ICC. The ICC is required to consist of at least four members, and its presiding officer is required to be a woman employed at a senior level. Provisions have been made in case no senior woman employee is available, to nominate a woman presiding officer from another office, administrative unit, workplace, or organisation. Further, one half of the members must be women.
However just having a sexual harassment policy at your workplace is not enough. The Anti-Sexual Harassment Act requires the employer to treat any instances of sexual harassment as misconduct under the rules of employment.
Any woman who has faced sexual harassment at the workplace, or any person authorized by the Internal or Local Complaints Committee can file a complaint with the Magistrate. Repeated non-compliance of this provision can result in the punishment being doubled or even cancellation of the license by the government or local authority to carry on business. Similarly, failure to implement the recommendations of the ICC or the Local Committee, or failure to include appropriate details pertaining to filing and disposal of sexual harassment cases carries the same penalty.
If you face any problem regarding the formation of the ICC or face any other problems in compliance to the act, feel free to contact NB Law Firm.