POSH at Work is an organization that believes that sexual harassment at workplace does not only cause mental and/or physical damage to the person harassed but also seriously curtails opportunities at work by creating a discriminatory work environment. We believe that, in order to ensure equal participation and equal opportunity at work, it is extremely important to do away with discriminatory behaviour and re-instil the faith of employees/workers in the organization. We believe that this can be done only with effective and efficient compliance with the law against sexual harassment i.e. the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 and other related laws.
POSH at Work has, therefore, been found with the motto to help in the ‘Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace.’ In this regard, it does the following:
- Provides Regular Legal Updates: It provides regular updates on all statutes, government notifications, guidelines, policies, case laws and news pertaining to sexual harassment for the benefit of in-house as well as practising lawyers and independent third parties who may be external members of ICCs and may have to deal with issues related to this subject on a day to day basis. Our updates come with a legal analysis in simple language which not only helps lawyers stay updated on the recent activities in this area but also keeps the non-legal persons informed of the recent developments.
- Assistance in complying with Law: It provides support to employers in preventing and dealing with matters of sexual harassment at workplace by providing them with legal advice, helping them conduct training/awareness programs on sexual harassment and gender equality, providing them with posters for compliance with law and helping them implement policies. These are explained in more detail below:
- Providing an independent third party member as external member of the ICC: The law puts several important responsibilities on an employer for effective implementation of the law, many of which are discussed here, here and here. One if these responsibilities is that any organization, whether public or private, that has 10 employees or more, is required to constitute an internal complaints committee (ICC) at the workplace to receive and redress complaints of sexual harassment. The law has also provided for the composition of the ICC and has provided that it must be a four member committee – 3 of whom have to be employees and 1 member has to be an external, third party, independent member. The law also goes on to say that such external member should be someone who is committed to the cause of women or who is familiar with matters related to sexual harassment. Naturally, sometimes, it can be extremely difficult to find the right external member who has the right knowledge and understanding of the subject. We have several external members associated with us. This helps employers find the right external member for their ICC.
- Providing support in conducting training/awareness programs: Employers are also required to carry out training programs for employees so that they become aware of their rights and duties and understand what may constitute sexual harassment and must conduct orientation programmes and seminars for ICC members so that ICC can successfully effect the redressal mechanism provided under law. We have various trainers associated with us, which enables employers to fulfil this responsibility.
- Providing posters for awareness, in compliance with law: The law puts another obligation on the employer. It says that employers should display at ‘any conspicuous place’ in the workplace, the penal consequences of sexual harassment and the order constituting the internal complaints committee, should formulate and widely disseminate an internal policy and declare names and contact details of ICC members. We help employers fulfil this obligation by providing legally compliant Posters, with all the above details, in any Indian language.
We believe that gender sensitive work spaces are extremely important not just for personal job satisfaction but also for the growth of the economy and the Nation as a whole. We, therefore, urge you to join us in our efforts to prevent sexual harassment at work and create gender sensitive work spaces for a better tomorrow.