Today , all workplaces in India are mandated by Law to provide a safe and secure working environment for women free from Sexual Harassments . Sexual harassment of women is a violation of the fundamental rights of a woman to equality as per Article 14 and Article 15 and her Right to live with dignity as mentioned under Article 21 of the Constitution .Therefore the Government of India enacted the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention , Prohibition and Redressal ) Act 2013 .
The Act is an extension of the Vishakha Guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in 1997.The Supreme Court of India for the first time in Vishakha Guidelines, acknowledged Sexual Harassment at workplace as a human rights violation .Further the act also reflects the commitment of the Government to the ratification of the convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on July 9, 1993 .
Few Highlights of the Act
a) The Act very elaborately defines aggrieved women ,Workplace ,Sexual Harrasment , Sexual Harrasment at Workplace .
b) Workplace Sexual Harrasment is behavior that is Unwelcome ,Sexual in Nature A subjective experience impact not intent is what matters often occurs in a matrix of power.
c) The Act placed an obligation on the Management to provide a a safer workplace by imposing upon them the obligation of Prohibition ,Prevention and Redressal as the title of the Act suggests Prevention of Sexual Harrasment of Women at Workplace (Prevention ,Prohibition and Redressal) Act ,2013.The Act has defined several duties of the employer some of which are :
– Provide a safe working environment at the workplace which shall include safety from the persons coming into contact at the workplace.
– Display at any conspicuous place in the workplace, the penal consequences of sexual harassments, and the order constituting, the Internal Committee.
-Organise workshops and awareness programmes at regular intervals for sensitising the employees with the provisions of the Act and orientation programmes for the members of the Internal Committee.
– If a Company fails to comply with the Act there is a fine of Rs.50,000/- this might be doubled for subsequent non compliance , cancellation of license to operate ,above all it leads to reputational loss .
Since there is so much at stake organisations feel the need to engage a legal expert in ensuring that it is POSH Compliant.
Our POSH Service Portfolio includes following :
– Training assistance both Online as well as offline for management , employees ,HR ,IC committee
– Assistance in devising an Internal POSH Policy in compliant to the provisions of the Act.
-Investigation support in case of complicated and sensitive complaints .
For more information please contact us at email@example.com