How do we appoint a presiding officer on the Internal Committee when we do not have a senior female employee ?
The company is expected to appoint a senior woman employee as the Chairperson or the presiding officer i.e. a female employee appointed at a senior position. The presiding officer should be an employee of the workplace. If such a female employee is not available then the company can nominate a senior female employee from another office/units/ department/ workplace of the same employer.
A male senior employee cannot be the presiding officer of the committee. This was designed to uphold the core of the Act which was constituted to protect the legitimate interests of a woman. For this purpose a female presiding officer was considered to be committed towards the cause of women.
In India, not all organisations have women at senior positions. In such a case the employer can nominate a female employee who they trust has the maturity and capacity to fulfill the role under the Act even if she is not a senior level employee.
It is the company’s responsibility to arrange for skill building workshops to equip her to implement the anti-sexual harassment policy and the procedures therein to abide by the Act.
About the Author and Serein
Faakirah Junaid Rafiquee is a lawyer and content designer .She is an experienced head of operations skilled in research, policy analysis, human rights, mental health, women rights, workshop moderation and document drafting. She is a strong operations professional with a Bachelor of Law focused in women rights and policy analysis. She has facilitated and designed workshops on issues like feminism, prevention of mental health, and childhood sexual abuse. She also has developed courses, modules and programmes on the same issues. Faakirah writes on women’s and mental health issues .
The materials on this web site have been prepared by Serein Inc. for informational purposes only and are not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. Reader should not rely or act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.
Serein Inc is an end to end service partner for the implementation of Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) legal compliance. We partner with companies on case redressal and policies to proactively build safer work cultures and sexual harassment (POSH) trainings either in person or virtually. For more details on diversity, inclusion and prevention of sexual harassment (POSH training in India and the US).
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