Protection against Harassment OR ABUSE of Women at Workplace
Protection against Harassment of Women at WORKPLACE
“Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that occurs in the workplace. The legal definition of sexual harassment is “Unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is severe or pervasive and affects working conditions or creates a hostile work environment.”
Ravi Autos Sundar (Pvt) Ltd (RAS) aims to provide a work environment free of harassment, abuse (physical, moral, sexual) or any sort of corporal punishment in its any form.
The description of applicable laws & regulations is as under:
- The Constitution of Pakistan 1973
- Pakistan Penal Code
- Industrial Relation of Ordinance
- Women at workplace Act 2010
Recognizing the principles of equal opportunity for men and women and their right to earn a livelihood with dignity, without fear of abuse and harassment, in cognizance of the provisions of the Constitution of Pakistan where non-discrimination on the basis of sex in public and workplace is stated.
Acknowledging the government’s commitment to international conventions including ILO Conventions 100 and 111 and the United Nations Convention for Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
The objective of this policy is to create a safe and dignified working environment for men and women workers that is free of sexual harassment, abuse and intimidation and with a view to enable higher productivity and a better quality of life at RAS.
PROTECTION AGAINST HARASSMENT OF WOMEN AT THE WORKPLACE ACT, 2010:
To protect women against such harassment at their workplace, Government of Pakistan has implemented “Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act, 2010” in all organizations. Every organization has an internal committee to work in this regard and to undertake the following measures for implementation of this act:
- Adaptation of code of conduct prescribed by law.
- The committee will immediately address the complaints of sexual harassment as per law, as and when received.
- Ensuring the justice is done swiftly and retaliation against the complaints is curbed.
- Informing and educating the employees to make them more aware of the provisions of the act and to encourage a professional and dignified work environment for the women in public and private sectors.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAWS FOR WOMEN IN PAKISTAN:
Following are the laws for women that are implemented in the sexual harassment cases:
- If a drunk person appears in any public place and there causes annoyance to any person including female, he could be punished with imprisonment, or with fine or with both under Section 510 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860.
- If a person insults the modesty of any woman, utter any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object in any public place, markets, public transport, street or park, private gathering or home, he is liable to be punished with imprisonment for three years or with fine or with both under Section 509 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860
- If any person demands sexual favor or uses verbal or non-verbal communication or physical conduct of a sexual nature to annoy, insult, intimidate or threaten the female at the workplace, with the intent of unreasonably interfering with work performance is liable to be punished with imprisonment for three years or with fine or with both under Section 509 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860
- If any person makes a false accusation of fornication against any female, he shall be punished with imprisonment for five years and with fine under Section 496C of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860.
- Whoever, force any girl under the age of eighteen years, to have physical intercourse with another person shall be punished with imprisonment of ten years and with fine under Section 366A of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860.
- If a person assaults or use criminal force to any woman and strips her of her clothes and in that condition, exposes her to public view, is liable to be punished with death or with imprisonment for life, and also liable to fine under Section 354A of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860.
- If a person does any indecent and vulgar act in any public place, sings, recites any vulgar song or words is liable to be punished with imprisonment for three months or with fine or with both under Section 294 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860
WORKPLACE HARASSMENT LAWS FOR WOMEN:
- According to Section 2(h) of the Protection against Harassment of women at Workplace Act, 2010 harassment” means any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors or other verbal or written communication or physical conduct of a sexual nature or sexually demeaning attitudes, causing interference with work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, or the attempt to punish the complainant for refusal to comply with such a request or is made a condition for employment.
- According to the Section 3 of the Protection against Harassment of women at Workplace Act, 2010, every organization has to constitute an Inquiry Committee to inquire into complaints made against workplace harassment. And committee shall consist of three members of whom at least one member should be a woman.
- If a person is guilty of workplace harassment, following penalty under Section 4 of the Protection against Harassment of women at Workplace Act, 2010 can be imposed on him:
- Withholding, for a specific period, promotion or increment;
- Stoppage, for a specific period, at an efficiency bar in the time-scale, otherwise than for unfitness to cross such bar; and
- Recovery of the compensation payable to the complainant from pay or any other source of the accused;
- Reduction to a lower post or time-scale, or to a lower stage in a time-scale;
- Compulsory retirement;
- Removal from service;
- Dismissal from service; and
- A part of the fine can be used as compensation for the complainant. In case of the owner, the fine shall be payable to the complainant.
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR THE EMPLOYEES:
- During the discharge of official duties in the office, all functionaries should behave in proper manner according to the official decorum.
- The language should be civilized and simple. Words and sentences having more than one meaning should be strictly avoided.
- The dress should be proper as per office norms. Casual dress should not be worn.
- Unnecessary stay and unnecessary visits to women’s workplace and near women washrooms are strictly prohibited.
- Staring is also a menace in our society and should be avoided.
- Duties after office hours and duties on holidays for women must be approved from the concerned Head of Department.
- Any other action which tantamount to harassment of female employees will be considered a serious offence and disciplinary action will be taken under the Code of Conduct against the offenders.
- All female employees are advised to lodge a complaint immediately to the Head of Human Resource who will refer the matter to inquiry Committee for investigation and submission of report along with recommendation. Head of Human Resource will be competent authority for taking all decisions in such matters.
Female employees can also contact inquiry committee members for any complaint and it will be taken up properly.