Sexual harassment victims in govt offices to get three months paid leave
Image for representation purpose onlyIn a new set of instructions issued by the Centre, a complainant in a sexual harassment case at a government office will be allowed paid leave up to three months. In addition, she or employee who has been accused of harrasment can be transferred to another department until the period of enquiry, reported PTI.The instructions issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) also cautions against dispensing cases of sexual harassment "lightly, arbitrarily or with an ulterior motive or merely because the case against the government servant is weak".It said that committees set up to look into cases of sexual harassment will have the power to recommend transfer of either of the parties and to grant leave to the complainant, without deducting from her leave account.The committees have been set up across all ministries and organisations based on a Supreme Court judgement in the Vishakha case. The guidelines include – such committees must be headed by a woman with at least half its members being of the same sex.In the absence of a senior level woman officer in a particular office, an officer from another office can be appointed to look into its affairs. Furthermore, such committees must include NGO or any such bodies fighting against sexual harassment to prevent undue influence from senior-level officers, the report said. The guidelines also mention that an aggrieved woman must file the complaint within three months of the incident.