[THE PROTECTION AGAINST HARASSMENT OF WOMEN AT THE 

WORKPLACE ACT 2010] 

 

PART 1 

Acts, Ordinance, President’s Orders and Regulations 

 

SENATE SECRETARIAT 

Islamabad, the 11

th

 March, 2010 

 

No. F. 9 (5)/2009- Legis.__ The following Acts of Majlis-e-Shoora 

(Parliament) received the assent of the President on 9

th

 March, 2010, are hereby 

published for general information:__ 

 

Act No. IV 

OF  

2010

 

 

An Act to make provisions for the protection against harassment of women at the 

workplace 

 
 

WHEREAS  the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan recognizes the 

fundamental rights of citizens   to dignity of person; 

 

AND WHEREAS it is expedient to make this provision for the protection of 

women from harassment at the workplace; 

It is hereby enacted as follows: 

 

1. 

Short title, extent and commencement. - (1) This Act may be called the 

Protection against Harassment of women at the Workplace Act, 2010. 

 

(2) 

It extends to the whole of Pakistan. 

(3) 

It shall come into force at once.  

 

2. Definitions. 

– 

In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or 

context,– 

(a) 

“accused” means an employee or employer of an organization against 

whom complaint has been made under this Act;  

(b) 

“CBA” means Collective Bargaining Agent as provided in the Industrial 

Relations Act 2008,( IV of 2008) or any other law for the time being in 

force. 

(c) 

“Code” means the Code of Conduct as mentioned in the Schedule to this 

Act; 

(d) 

“Competent Authority” means the authority as may be designated by the 

management for the purposes of this Act; 

(e) 

“Complainant” means a woman or man who has made a complaint to the 

Ombudsman or to the Inquiry Committee on being aggrieved by an act of   

harassment; 

(f) 

“Employee” means a regular or contractual employee whether employed 

on daily, weekly, or monthly or hourly basis, and includes an intern or an 

apprentice;  

(g) 

“Employer” in relation to an organization, means any person or body of 

persons whether incorporated or not, who or which employs workers in an 

organization under a contract of employment or in any other manner 

whosoever and includes – 

 

 

(i) 

an heir, successor or assign, as the case may be, of such person or, 

body as aforesaid;  

 

(ii) 

any person responsible for the direction, administration, 

 

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management and control of the management; 

(iii) 

the authority, in relation of an organization or a group of 

organization run by or under the authority of any Ministry or 

department of the Federal Government or a Provincial government, 

appointed in this behalf or, where no authority is appointed, the 

head of the Ministry or department as the case may be; 

(iv) 

the office bearer, in relation to an organization run by or on behalf 

of the local authority, appointed in this behalf, or where no officer 

is so appointed, the chief executive officer bearer of that authority; 

(v) 

the proprietor, in relation to any other organization, of such 

organization and every director, manager, secretary, agent or office 

bearer or person concerned with the management of the affairs 

thereof.  

(vi) 

a contractor or an organization of a contractor who or which 

undertakes to procure the labour or services of employees for use 

by another person or in another organization for any purpose 

whatsoever and for payment in any form and on any basis 

whatsoevery; and  

(vi) 

office bearers of a department of a Division of a Federal or a 

Provincial or local authority who belong to the managerial, 

secretarial or directional cadre or categories of supervisors or 

agents and those who have been notified for this purpose in the 

official Gazette; 

 

 

 (h) 

harassment” means any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual 

favors or other verbal or written communication or  physical conduct of a 

sexual nature or sexually demeaning attitudes, causing interference with 

work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work 

environment, or the attempt to punish the complainant for refusal to 

comply to such a request or is made a condition for employment;      

(i) 

“Inquiry Committee” means the Inquiry Committee established under  

 

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sub-section (1) of section 3; 

(j) 

“management” means a person or body of persons responsible for the 

management of the affairs of an organization and includes an employer; 

(k)  

“Ombudsman” means the Ombudsman appointed under section 7 

 

(l) 

“organization” means a Federal or Provincial Government Ministry, 

Division or department, a corporation or any autonomous or semi-

autonomous body, Educational Institutes, Medical facilities  established or 

controlled by the Federal or Provincial Government or District 

Government or registered civil society associations or privately managed a 

commercial or an industrial establishment or institution, a company as 

defined in the Companies Ordinance, 1984 (XLVII of 1984) and includes 

any other  registered private sector organization or institution;  

(m) 

“Schedule” means Schedule annexed to this Act;  

(n) 

“workplace” means the place of work or the premises where an 

organization or employer operates and includes building, factory, open 

area or a larger geographical area where the activities of the organization 

or of employer are carried out and including  any situation that is linked to 

official work or official activity outside the office. 

 

 
 

3. 

Inquiry Committee. – (1) Each organization shall constitute an Inquiry 

Committee within thirty days of the enactment of this Act to enquire into 

complaints under this Act.  

(2) The Committee shall consist of three members of whom  at least one member 

shall be a woman. One member shall be from senior management and one shall be a 

senior representative of the employees or a senior employee where there is no CBA. 

One or more members can be co-opted from outside the organization if the 

organization is unable to designate three members from within as described above. A 

Chairperson shall be designated from amongst them. 

 

 

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 (3)   In case a complaint is made against one of the members of the Inquiry Committee  

that member should be replaced by another for that particular case.  Such member may be 

from within or outside the organization. 

(4)  

In case where no competent authority is designated the organization shall within 

thirty days of the enactment of this Act designate a competent authority 

  
 

4. 

Procedure for holding inquiry.– (1) The Inquiry Committee, within three days 

of receipt of a written complaint, shall– 

(a) 

communicate to the accused the charges and statement of allegations 

leveled against him, the formal written receipt of which will be given; 

(b) 

require the accused within seven days from the day the charge is 

communicated to him to submit a written defense and on his failure to do 

so without reasonable cause, the Committee shall proceed ex-parte; and 

(c) 

enquire into the charge and may examine such oral or documentary 

evidence in support of the charge or in defense of the accused as the 

Committee may consider necessary and each party shall be entitled to 

cross-examine the witnesses against him.  

 

(2) 

Subject to the provisions of this Act and any rules made thereunder the 

Inquiry Committee shall have power to regulate its own procedure for conducting inquiry 

and for the fixing place and time of its sitting.  

 

(3) 

The following provisions inter alia shall be followed by the Committee in 

relation to inquiry:  

(a) 

The statements and other evidence acquired in the inquiry process 

shall be considered as confidential;  

(b) 

An officer in an organization, if considered necessary, may be 

nominated to provide advice and assistance to each party; 

(c) 

Both parties, the complainant and the accused, shall have the right 

to be represented or accompanied by a Collective Bargaining 

Agent representative, a friend or a colleague; 

 

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(d) 

Adverse action shall not be taken against the complainant or the 

witnesses;  

(e) 

The inquiry Committee shall ensure that the employer or accused 

shall in no case create any hostile environment for the complainant 

so as to pressurize her from freely pursuing her complaint; and 

(f) 

The Inquiry Committee shall give its findings in writing by 

recording reasons thereof. 

 

(4) 

The Inquiry Committee shall submit its findings and recommendations to 

the Competent Authority within thirty days of the initiation of inquiry. If the Inquiry 

Committee finds the accused to be guilty it shall recommend to the Competent Authority 

for imposing one or more of the following penalties: 

 

(i) Minor 

penalties: 

 (a) 

censure; 

(b) 

withholding, for a specific period, promotion or increment; 

(c) 

stoppage, for a specific period, at an efficiency bar in the  

time-scale, otherwise than for unfitness to cross such bar; and 

(d) 

recovery of  the compensation payable to the complainant from 

pay or any other source of the accused; 

 

 

(ii) Major 

penalties: 

(a) 

reduction to a lower post or time-scale, or to a lower stage in a 

time-scale; 

(b) compulsory 

retirement; 

(c) 

removal from service; 

(d) 

dismissal from service; and 

 (e) 

Fine. A part of the fine can be used as compensation for the 

complainant. In case of the owner, the fine shall be payable to the 

complainant.  

 

 

(5) 

The Competent Authority shall impose the penalty recommended by the 

 

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Inquiry Committee under sub-section (4) within one week of the receipt of the 

recommendations of the Inquiry Committee

 

(6) 

The Inquiry Committee shall meet on regular basis and monitor the 

situation regularly until they are satisfied that their recommendations subject to decision, 

if any of Competent Authority and Appellate Authority have been implemented. 

 

(7) 

In case the complainant is in trauma the organization will arrange for 

psycho-social counseling or medical treatment and for additional medical leave. 

 

 

(8) 

The organization may also offer compensation to the complainant in case 

of loss of salary or other damages.  

 

5. 

Powers of the Inquiry Committee. – (1)  The Inquiry Committee shall have 

power– 

(a) 

to summon and enforce attendance of any person and examine him on 

oath; 

 

(b) 

to require the discovery and production of any document; 

 

(c) 

to receive evidence on affidavits; and  

 

(d) 

to record evidence. 

 

 

(2) 

The Inquiry Committee shall have the power to inquire into the matters of 

harassment under this Act, to get the complainant or the accused medically examined by 

an authorized doctor, if necessary, and may recommend appropriate penalty against the 

accused within the meaning of sub-section (4) of section 4. 

 

 

(3)  

The Inquiry Committee may recommend to Ombudsman for appropriate 

action against the complainant if allegations leveled against the accused found to be false 

and made with mala fide intentions. 

 

 

(4) 

The Inquiry Committee can instruct to treat the proceedings confidential.   

 

 

6. 

Appeal against minor and major penalties.– (1) Any party aggrieved by 

 

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decision of the Competent Authority on whom minor or major penalty is imposed may 

within thirty days of written communication of decision prefer an appeal to an 

Ombudsman established under section 7 . 

(2) 

A complainant aggrieved by the decision of the Competent Authority may 

also prefer appeal within thirty days of the decision to the Ombudsman. 

 

 

(3) 

The Appellate Authority may, on consideration of the appeal and any 

other relevant material, confirm, set aside, vary or modify the decision within thirty days 

in respect of which such appeal is made. It shall communicate the decision to both the 

parties and the employer. 

 

(4) 

Until such a time that the ombudsman is appointed the District Court shall have 

the jurisdiction to hear appeals against the decisions of Competent Authority and the provisions 

of sub-sections (1) to (3) shall mutatis mutandis apply 

 

(5)  

On the appointment of Ombudsman all appeals pending before the District Court 

shall stand transferred to Ombudsman who may proceed with the case from the stage at which it 

was pending immediately before such transfer.  

 

7.  

Ombudsman:-  (1) The respective Governments shall appoint an ombudsman at 

the Federal and provincial levels. 

 

(2) A person shall be qualified to be appointed as an Ombudsman who has been a judge 

of high court or qualified to be appointed as a judge of high court. The Ombudsman may 

recruit such staff as required to achieve the purposes of this Act and the finances will be 

provided by the respective Governments 

 

8.  

Ombudsman to enquire into complaint.- (1) Any employee shall have the 

option to prefer a complaint either to the Ombudsman or the Inquiry Committee. ‘ 

 

(2)  The Ombudsman shall within 3 days of receiving a complaint issue a written show cause 

notice to the accused. The accused after the receipt of written notice, shall submit written 

defense to the Ombudsman within five days and his failure to do so without reasonable 

cause the Ombudsman may proceed ex parte. Both the parties can represent themselves 

 

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before the Ombudsman. 

 

(3)The Ombudsman shall conduct an inquiry into the matter according to the rules made 

 

under this Act and conduct proceedings as the Ombudsman deems proper. 

  

(4)  For the purposes of an investigation under this Act, the Ombudsman may require any 

office or member of an organization concerned to furnish any information or to produce 

any document which in the opinion of the Ombudsman is relevant and helpful in the 

conduct of the investigation. 

 

(5)  The Ombudsman shall record his decision and inform both parties and the management 

of the concerned organization for implementation of the orders.  

 

9. Representation to President or Governor:- Any person aggrieved by a decision of 

Ombudsman under sub- section (5) of section 8, may, within thirty days of decision, make a 

representation to the President or Governor, as the case may be, who may pass such order thereon 

as he may deem fit. 

 

10. 

  Powers of the Ombudsman 

The Ombudsman shall for the purpose of this Act have the same powers as are vested in a 

Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedures, 1908 (Act V of 1908), in respect of the 

following matters, namely: 

i. 

Summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and 

examining him on oath; 

ii. 

Compelling the production of evidence; 

iii. 

Receiving evidence on affidavits;  

iv. 

Issuing commission for the examination of witnesses 

v. 

entering any premises for the purpose of making any inspection or 

investigation, enter any premises where the Ombudsman has a 

reason to believe that any information relevant to the case may be 

found; and  

vi. 

The Ombudsman shall have the same powers as the High Court 

has to punish any person for its contempt. 

(2) Ombudsman shall while making the decision on the complaint may impose any of the 

 

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minor or major penalties specified in sub- section (4) of section 4. 

11. Responsibility 

of 

employer.– 

(1) It shall be the responsibility of the employer to 

ensure implementation of this Act, including but not limited to incorporate the Code of 

Conduct for protection against  harassment at the workplace as a part of their 

management policy and to form Inquiry Committee referred to in section 3 and designate 

a competent authority referred to in section 4. 

 

(2)        The management shall display copies of the Code in English as well as in 

language understood by the majority of employees at conspicuous place in the 

organization and the work place within six months of the commencement of this Act.  

 

 

 

(3) 

On failure of an employer to comply with the provisions of this section 

any employee of an organization may file  a petition before the District Court and on 

having been found guilty the employer shall be liable to fine which may extend to one 

hundred thousand rupees but shall not be less than twenty-five thousand rupees. 

 

12. 

Provisions of the Act in addition to and not in derogation of any other law.– 

The provisions of this Act shall be in addition to and not in derogation of any other law 

for the time being in force. 

 

 

13. 

Power to make rules.-The Federal Government may make rules to 

carryout the purposes of this Act. 

 

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