Recent movements across India and the globe have encouraged women to boldly voice their experiences. With the scale of the issue becoming clearer with every passing year, companies are working towards fixing woefully inadequate sexual harassment policies. The way forward isn’t obvious. Burning old structures and standards to the ground and creating newer ones that address the issue is harder.
Adoption of POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace) Act, 2013, plays a very important role here. The POSH Act has been enacted with the objective of preventing and protecting women against workplace sexual harassment and to ensure effective redressal of complaints of sexual harassment. As per a study conducted by NASSCOM along with Trilegal and Parity Consulting, only 54% of the participating companies said that they hold training sessions on sensitizing the workforce on sexual harassment once a year. There are still few companies who have not yet constituted an internal complaints committee.
Corporate India is waking up to the reality of POSH very seriously. Simplilearn – the professional digital-skills training company, volunteered to actively contribute in this aspect. The company has created a video on the various facets of sexual harassment & the video is available in the public domain on its YouTube channel ‘Simplilearn’, free of cost, for the benefit of organizations who may not be able to invest in a detailed training program immediately.
The training video deals with the following topics:
- Identifying gender issues at the workplace
- Understanding sexual harassment
- Categorizing sexual harassment
- Inferring causes and impact of sexual harassment
- Initiatives by developed nations
- Need for woman empowerment in India
- Evolution of POSH
- Women rights in our constitution
- Vishaka guidelines
- The sexual harassment Act 2013
- Prevention and prohibition of sexual harassment
- Redressal procedure and mechanism
- Steps to prevent sexual harassment at workplace organization
- Steps to prevent sexual harassment at workplace employees
Non-compliance to POSH can lead to a fine of Rs 50,000 in the first instance and thereafter, loss of license to carry out business. To further tighten the compliance noose, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has notified an amendment to the Companies (Accounts) Rules, 2014, requiring all eligible companies to incorporate a statement in the Board of Directors Report that they have complied with the provisions relating to constitution of an IC under the POSH Act. Failure to comply can lead to fines ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 25 Lakhs for the defaulter company, and Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 Lakhs or imprisonment for up to 3 years, or both, for every officer in default. Repercussions of non-compliance of POSH mandates will result in matters being taken to the Board of Directors of every company.