Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment at workplace is prohibited by law. Sexual Harassment at workplace is a direct or implicit request to a worker for any form of sexual favor to get preferential treatment at workplace; or threaten the worker of detrimental treatment on present or future employment status of the worker. It also includes use of filthy language (unwelcome verbal advances, sexual oriented comments, request for sexual favours, jokes of a sexual nature, offensive flirtation or obscene expressions of sexual interest that are addressed directly to the person), visual material of sexual nature (sexually suggestive pictures, objects or written materials or sexually suggestive gestures) and showing physical behavior of sexual nature (unwanted and unwelcome touching, patting, pinching or any other unsolicited physical contact). All these have a detrimental effect on worker's employment, job performance and job satisfaction.

In an establishment with more than 25 workers, employer may issue a policy statement on sexual harassment, which clearly defines sexual harassment and states that the workplace is free of sexual harassment. Employer must take measure to ensure that workers are not subjected to sexual harassment and take appropriate disciplinary measures against the person involved in sexual harassment.

The policy statement must also describe the procedure through which worker may bring the complaints of sexual harassment to the attention of the Labour officer. The officer must keep confidential all the information related to the complainant except where disclosure is necessary for the purpose of investigation or taking disciplinary measures. Each worker should be well aware of the provisions of the policy statement.

in accordance with the Penal Code, any person who intends to insult the modesty of any woman or girl, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen by such woman or girl, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman or girl, commits a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

Employment (Sexual Harassment) Regulations 2012 prescribes that those who contravene the sexual harassment related provisions commit an offence and are liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding six currency points or imprisonment not exceeding three months or both.

 

Source: §128(3) of the Penal Code Act; §7 of the Employment Act 2006; §19 of the Employment (Sexual Harassment) Regulations 2012

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