Compliance requirements of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act,2013

Any organization with 10 or more employees must be compliant. Even those organizations that do not have any woman employee need to comply.

External Member to Internal Complaints Committee

Section 4(2)(c) of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act requires the presence of one outside/external member either from an NGO/Association committed to the cause of women or an individual who is familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment in the Internal Complaints Committee(ICC).

The POSHCA team has been trained professionally by lawyers to steer ICC meetings so that complaints are handled following the Principles of Natural Justice. Many of the POSHCA members have been inducted as NGO members to the ICCs of several organizations.

Advice and Assistance in Amending Corporate Policy and Service Rules

It is mandatory to include relevant provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act in the corporate policy so that the intent of the organization regarding sexual harassment is clear to all the employees. It ensures that everyone is aware of the rules and guidelines that will be followed in dealing with cases of sexual harassment. It pre-empts any misunderstanding between the employer and employee about the right to complain and redressal and the duty of the employer to provide awareness trainings and a redressal mechanism in the form of a complaints committee.

Awareness / Orientation Session for

It is the responsibility of all organizations to conduct training sessions to sensitize and create awareness among its employees about what amounts to sexual harassment as per the Act, the procedure of filing complaints and the how complaints will be redressed.

Preventing harassment in the workplace should be one of the most pressing compliance training initiatives for all organizations. Regular workplace harassment training educates employees and raises awareness about sexual harassment—one of the most common forms of employee misconduct—and helps build a workplace culture of respect and ethical behaviour.

The orientation session developed by POSHCA helps employees understand sexual harassment and its nuances, the redressal process, the consequences, and the role played by each employee in creating a safe, respectful, and productive workplace. All these aspects are delivered through real life case studies.

Legal Training of Members of Internal Complaints Committee

It is the responsibility of all organizations having 10 or more employees to form a redressal mechanism for any workplace sexual harassment complaints in the form of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC). The ICC is a quasi-judicial body and is responsible for conducting a fair, prompt and impartial inquiry using the Laws of Natural Justice. It must be trained in both skill and capacity to carry out a fair and informed inquiry into a complaint of workplace sexual harassment.

Training of the ICC members thus becomes a crucial compliance requirement of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act,2013. An absence of such training will lead to unequal and unfair results which can cost the employer, employee, complainant as well as respondent.

The ICC training by POSHCA covers the process of redressal of a complaint in detail and includes topics like the legal requirements of accepting a case, the timelines, the sensitivity required in handling such matters, report writing tips etc.

Train the Trainer program

Training program specifically designed for in-house trainers for conducting awareness programs relating to the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act. The workshop includes the following:

  • Awareness/orientation session on the Act
  • Handouts to help conduct awareness/orientation session
  • Practice opportunities for participants so as to have an experience of holding the training and responding to difficult queries

E Learning Module:

  • Empowers employees about workplace safety, thereby saving themselves from any untoward and unwelcome incidents of sexual harassment or preventing themselves from displaying any behaviour which can be construed as sexual harassment.
  • Presented in simple language with real-life cases to further facilitate learning. By the end of the module, the participants will have absolute clarity about what is sexual harassment and how to deal with it.
  • Crisp module with a comprehensive explanation followed by a quiz from a vast question bank. The participants will need a score of an 8 out of 10 questions. At the end of a successful training, the participant will be given a training certificate.
  • HR and/or compliance head will have access to a training dashboard with information on how many employees have logged-in, how many are in the process of training and how many have successfully completed the training session.
  • Employee Awareness on prevention of sexual harassment at workplace is compulsory also from a compliance perspective. This can be followed up with classroom trainings, if required.