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India: Equal opportunities

Original and updating author: Kochhar & Co


  • Specific legislation on equal opportunities in private-sector employment is mainly limited to equality between women and men, with employers prohibited from discriminating against women in recruitment and in conditions of employment. (See General)
  • The statutory prohibition of discrimination against women does not affect the application of legislation providing special treatment for women, for example in respect of pregnancy and maternity, or granting priority in recruitment or reserved jobs for certain groups. (See Exemptions)
  • Sexual harassment against women is prohibited, and employers must provide a working environment free from sexual harassment and set up an "internal complaints committee" to deal with harassment complaints. (See Sexual harassment)
  • Various forms of victimisation constitute unlawful sexual harassment against women, and employees defined as "workmen" are protected from victimisation by their employer on grounds of trade union membership and activities. (See Victimisation)
  • There is no statutory provision for positive action by employers in the private sector. (See Positive action)
  • Employees and job applicants may seek various remedies for discrimination and sexual harassment, depending on the circumstances. (See Remedies and penalties)