Women central government employees, who have filed sexual harassment complaints will get paid leave for three months, during the inquiry into their allegations.
The significant decision comes after there have been complaints of the accused or other people trying to influence or threaten women who have filed such complaints.
“Leave up to a maximum of 90 days may be granted to an aggrieved female government servant during the pendency of inquiry…The leave so granted to the aggrieved woman under this rule shall not be debited against the leave account,” said an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
As per the law, sexual harassment includes physical contact and advances, demand or request for sexual favours, sexual remarks, showing any pornography and any other unwelcome physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature. According to reports, implied or explicit promise of preferential or detrimental treatment in employment; implied or explicit threat about her present or future employment status; interference with her work, creating an intimidating, offensive or hostile work environment for her; and humiliating treatment likely to affect her health or safety may also amount to sexual harassment.
This provision already existed under the ‘Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, but the centre had not added it in the service rules that govern leave of its employees. It has now been incorporated in the Central Civil Services Rules, 1972
“It will come as a relief to the victims who undergo a lot of trauma while working in the office that too in the presence of the accused,” a senior DoPT official told PTI.