The Federal Government introduced the Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act, 2010 (the Act ) for protection of women from harassment at the workplace, and requiring every organization to adopt the Code of Conduct prescribed under the Act.
This Act requires all public and private organizations to adopt an internal Code of Conduct (the Code ) and a complain/appeals mechanism aimed at establishing a safe working environment, free of intimidation and abuse, for all working women. The word “Organization” has been defined in the Act to include, amongst others, a company as defined in the Companies Ordinance, 1984.
The compliance of the Code, inter-alia, requires the following:
- Making the Code of Conduct a part of HR policies;
- Forming a three member inquiry Committee to address any complaints of sexual harassment within employees;
- Displaying the Code in the office so that the employees have access to the information; and
- Following the Code in letter and spirit to make the office environment more dignified.
The Act is available for download in English and Urdu language at http://www.fos-pah.gov.pk/mi-admin/upload/FOS%20Act%202010.pdf and http://www.fos-pah.gov.pk/mi-admin/upload/FOS%20Act%20Urdu%202010.pdf, respectively.
It is advised to ensure compliance with the Act in letter and spirit. Further, all the public companies are also advised to ensure that the said Act is made available on their official websites.