Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Sanjay Gandhi on Monday thanked the Ministry for Corporate Affairs Ministry for making it mandatory for all companies to file a disclosure regarding the implementation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act in their Director’s Report.
The Corporate Affairs Ministry through a notification dated July 31, 2018, had amended the Companies (Accounts) Rules, 2014, issued under Section-134 of the Companies Act, by inserting clause (X) that said: “A statement that the Company has complied with provisions relating to the constitution of the Internal Complaints Committee under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013” to be filed.
“This is a major step towards making the workplace safe for the women in the private sector,” Gandhi said adding that she will be requesting SEBI to suitably incorporate this disclosure in the Corporate Governance reports of the listed Companies as this will cast higher responsibility on the Directors of these Companies for implementation of the Act.
Section-134 of the Companies Act, 2013 provides the disclosure framework which the Directors of every company are required to comply within the Annual Reports. This section also includes the penal provisions for non-disclosure. The inclusion of the compliance under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act in the non-financial disclosures will ensure that the issue gets into the focus into the Board of Directors of the companies.
All the ministries/ departments under the central government as well as the organizations working directly under them have to constitute the Internal Complaints Committee as mandated under the Act. A number of instructions have been issued by the DoPT on the request of the ministry to provide immediate relief to the women working in central government against sexual harassment at workplace. The WCD ministry has also empanelled a number of entities who can provide training to any organization on effective implementation of the provisions of the Act. In addition, the ministry has provided a facility to all working women to file complaints under this Act directly with the ministry through the SHE-Box.