The law provides that an organization that has 10 or more employees, must constitute an internal committee (“IC”) to receive and redress complaints on sexual harassment at workplace.
What is an IC?
An IC, as the name suggests, is an internal committee of a workplace to receive and redress complaints of sexual harassment. It is required to consist of a minimum of four members:
- A Presiding Officer who has to be a woman employed at a senior level at workplace. She has to be from amongst the employees.
- Two Members from amongst employees. The law says that for these two members, employers should prefer to have employees who are committed to the cause of women or who have had experience in social work or have legal knowledge.
- One Member from amongst non-governmental organisations or associations committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment (“External Member”).
The law also states that at least half of the total Members of the IC should be women.
Who can be an External Member?
Anyone from amongst NGOs or associations that are committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment.
Is there any fee for the External Member?
Yes, the External Member appointed from amongst the NGOs or associations is entitled to an allowance by the employer, of Rs. 200 per day for holding the proceedings of the IC and also the reimbursement of travel cost.
How to constitute an IC?
Every employer of a workplace has to constitute an IC by an order in writing.
Is there a term for the IC?
Yes, all the IC members can hold office for three years.
Can an IC member be removed before completion of the term?
Yes, the law provides for certain situations in which an IC member can be removed from the IC before completion of the term. The vacancy has to be refilled in accordance with provisions of the law.