How to Setup Complaints Committee in Your Company to Handle Sexual Harassment Issues

Although I'm not expert but I'd like to explain how any company/ organization/ body or unit etc should setup complaints committee in your company as per Sexual Harassment at Workplace, 2013 bill and also Supreme Court's Vishaka guidelines, 1997 so that your company/unit remains law abiding not penalized for breaking this law to safe guard working women.

From Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill, 2013:



  1. Every employer of a workplace shall, by an order in writing, constitute a Committee to be known as the "Internal Complaints Committee": Provided that where the offices or administrative units of the workplace are located at different places or divisional or sub-divisional level, the Internal Committee shall be constituted at all administrative units or offices.
  2. The Internal Committee shall consist of the following members to be nominated by the employer, namely:
    1. a Presiding Officer who shall be a woman employed at a senior level at workplace from amongst the employees: Provided that in case a senior level woman employee is not available, the Presiding Officer shall be nominated from other offices or administrative units of the workplace referred to in sub-section (1): Provided further that in case the other offices or administrative units of the workplace do not have a senior level woman employee, the Presiding Officer shall be nominated from any other workplace of the same employer or other department or organisation;
    2. Not less than two Members from amongst employees preferably committed to the cause of women or who have had experience in social work or have legal knowledge;
    3. 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: Provided that at least one-half of the total Members so nominated shall be women.
  3. The Presiding Officer and every Member of the Internal Committee shall hold office for such period, not exceeding three years, from the date of their nomination as may be specified by the employer.
  4. The Member appointed from among the non-governmental organisations or associations shall be paid such fees or allowances for holding the proceedings of the Internal Committee, by the employer, as may be prescribed.

So you should setup the committee from above guidelines and it seems the committee should consists of minimum of four members, with Presiding officer of the committee needs to be woman and out of four, another woman member needs to be there. You should also ensure that at least one member from NGO( or third party) needs to be there who has some experience of such type of cases.

Avoid including a member if he/she has been convicted of an offence or an inquiry is pending against him/her or he/she is found guilty in disciplinary proceedings or a disciplinary proceeding is pending against him.

The NGO member can be paid fees.

Awareness of Sexual Harassment Bill among women staff

From Supreme Court's Vishaka Guidelines, 1997, you should create awareness by displaying the sexual harassment prevention steps and how to seek help steps taken by your office at prominent public places.

The best way is to circulate printed copies to women employees and get their signature that they have "read it thoroughly". You can also send those rules by emails regularly(every quarter) to all of your employees.

What to do in case a complaint is filed

You should immediately constitute committee (if it was not constituted) and call meeting and decide next course of action. You should also inform government authorities promptly which include labour dept., police and also National Commission of Women(NCW).


In case the worst happens and your office is dragged in the court by labour department, police or government, your proactive-ness to safeguard working women's safety in your office will help you in case of criminal offence on your part.

It means you should take steps "by heart" so as to minimise such cases of sexual harassment and also provide safe and healthy working environment for women completely at par to that of their male colleagues.

Any steps causing inequality to working women staff( for example fear of sexual comments) when compared to male staff will be considered lapse on your part.

Contact us for NGO member

We'll be happy to be on your roll for sexual harassment committee as an NGO member from third party. For any suggestions too you can contact us.

Please contact us here or here.


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