The Channel 46

Lawyer Shruti Swaika Highlights Sexual Harassment & Maternity Laws Every Woman Should Know About

1. What is the Sexual Harassment at Workplace law?

The Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act of 2013 is a special Legislation aiming towards providing a safe and hostile free environment at work for women. It extends to the whole of India. It applies to both the organised and unorganised sectors in India.

2. What constitutes as sexual harassment?

– Physical contact and advances – Demand or request for sexual favours – Making sexually-coloured remarks – Showing pornography – Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature

3. How is the ‘Workplace’ part of the clause defined? What is the process one should follow to highlight harassment?

1) Proximity from the place of work 2) Control of the management over such a place/residence where the working woman is residing 3) Such a residence has to be an extension or contiguous part of the working place. Section 4 lays down the establishment of an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC)

4. What is the Maternity Benefit Act & what is the procedure to seek a remedy for related grievances?

It is an Act to regulate the employment of women in certain establishments for certain periods before and after childbirth and to provide for maternity benefit and certain other benefits. Under the Maternity Benefits Act, 1961, the condition levied is that the female employee should have served the institution for a minimum period of 80 days in 12 months preceding the date of expected delivery.

5. How do I claim Statutory Maternity Pay?

To claim Statutory Maternity Pay, you must tell your employer that you are pregnant and will be off work because of the birth. You must tell them 28 days before you decide to start maternity leave. Your employer may need you to tell them in writing.

6. What documents will I need to claim Statutory Maternity Pay?

When you tell your employer that you will be off work because of your pregnancy, they will want to see a medical certificate (a MATB1). Your doctor or midwife will issue this certificate no earlier than 20 weeks before your baby is due.

7. How do I challenge a Statutory Maternity Pay decision?

If you disagree with a Statutory Maternity Pay decision made by your employer, you can contact HM Revenue and Customs Statutory Payments Disputes Team.

8. If I am being deprived of the benefit of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 can I file a complaint with the National Commission for Women?

Yes, you can approach the National Commission for Women in case your employer/ concerned organization is denying you the maternity benefit as per the provisions of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.

9. Who can file a complaint before the National Commission for Women?

A person intending to file a complaint before the National Commission for women may do so by making a complaint on the official website of the Commission ( under the section of ‘register online complaints’. One can also send a written application containing all the important details (along with supporting documents, if any) through post or by hand.

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