POSH – Far Beyond Compliances – PART III

In continuation to our previous part, lets discuss here the topics like between Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) and Local Complaints Committee (LCC), categories of complainants, complaint process and other things.

First of all, it is mandatory for both types of Committees to have 50% representation of women. Also,ICC or LCC members will hold their position not exceeding three years from the date of their nomination or appointment.

Now, coming to their difference. ICC is formed by an employer while LCC is formed by District Officer.

  • The ICC will be composed of the following members:
  • Chairperson- Women working at senior level as employee; if not available then nominated from other office/units/department/workplace of the same employer.
  • 2 members (minimum)- From amongst employees committed to the cause of women/having legal knowledge/experience in social work.
  • Member- From amongst NGO/associations committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issue of sexual harassment.

Now, it is pertinent to note here that where the office or administrative units of a workplace are located in different places, division or sub-division, an ICC has to be set up at every administrative unit and office.

  • Now, coming to LCC. LCC will be composed of the following members:
  • Chairperson- Nominated from amongst the eminent women in the field of social work and committed to the cause of women.
  • Member- Nominated from amongst the women working in the block, taluka or tehsil or ward or municipality in the district.
  • 2 Members- Nominated from amongst such NGO/associations/persons

committed to the cause of women or familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment, provided that

  • at least one must be a woman.
  • At least one must have a background of law or legal knowledge.
  • Ex officio member- The concerned officer dealing with social welfare or women or child development in the district.

Now, let us discuss the criteria for appointing an external member. An NGO member shall be a ‘person familiar with issues relating to women’ which would mean such persons who have expertise in issues related to sexual harassment and may include any of the following:

  • At least 5 years of experience as a social worker, working towards women’s empowerment and in particular, addressing workplace sexual harassment;
  • Familiarity with labour, service, civil or criminal law.

The LCC will receive complaints from

  • Women working in an organization having less than 10 workers.
  • When the complaint is against the employer himself;
  • From domestic workers

Dissemination of Information and Awareness Generation:

Employers/ District Officers have a legal responsibility to:

  • Effectively communicate the policy
  • Widely publicize names of Committee members
  • Create forums for dialogue
  • Carry out awareness and orientation of all employees etc.

The discussion of Complaints Committee and Awareness Generation ends here. Now, in the next and last part of this Article, we will discuss who is a complainant, the procedure for complaint etc.

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