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KD Singh educates about POSH Act

Updated on: 13 July,2022 03:45 PM IST  |  Mumbai
BrandMedia |

The standing of women has drastically changed as a result of globalisation, and many of their rights are now recognised and protected by the law.

KD Singh educates about POSH Act

However, the societal mindset is still antagonistic to women's autonomy in many sectors of life, which leads to violations of the right to equality granted by the Indian Constitution. One example of gender discrimination that obstructs a woman's opportunity to progress and succeed in the competitive world is sexual harassment in the workplace. KD Singh discusses the importance of ‘prevention’ is the best tool for the elimination of sexual harassment in the workplace in a multicultural society as ours.


Workplace harassment not only affects a woman's ability to perform but also causes her physical and emotional agony. Sexual harassment at the workplace has assumed more excellent dimensions, substantially on account of many women stepping out of their homes to be a part of the mainstream workforce of the country. KD Singh says, “The phenomena is not unique to India since other developed and emerging nations have encountered a comparable problem and taken action to effectively address it. We need to raise awareness of the problem and assist employers in establishing a safe and secure working environment for their female employees.” KD Singh adds, “Lewd jokes, groping, and inappropriate comments are now a common occurrence for Indian women, to the point where they are accepted as normal. Women are also reluctant to report these incidents for fear of being laughed at or disbelieved, which highlights the need for stronger enforcement and increased awareness of the problem.”


In 2013, the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013 went into effect. And, in 2015, the rules of this act were published. The Act added sexual harassment as a cognizable offence and altered the definitions of rape and outraging women's modesty. A hostile work atmosphere, humiliating treatment, and quid pro quo are all examples of what is explicitly defined as sexual harassment.


According to the Act, a workplace is defined as any location that the employer directly or indirectly controls and where an employee must travel in order to perform their duties. It includes offices and other locations where job duties are carried out, such as client offices, travel destinations, dining establishments for business lunches and dinners, business branches, client homes, etc. It includes appropriate workplace extensions, such as outings, social activities, staff gatherings after work, etc.


Further, the Act makes it mandatory for every employer of a workplace (Employing more than ten persons) to constitute an ‘Internal Complaints Committee’ (ICC), by an order in writing, for handling the complaints of sexual harassment. “If an organisation has administrative units or offices spread out across several locations, the ICC must be established at each of those offices or administrative units. The ICC has vast authority on par with that of a civil court. Women who have received particular training on the Act/Rules and their roles and responsibilities should make up the majority of the ICC,” informs KD Singh.


In light of the #Me Too movement, several cases including those which happened before the enactment of the POSH Act are now coming into the spotlight. KD Singh highlights, “It is crucial for employers and their respective HR & in-house legal teams to take proactive measures to avoid and effectively address complaints of workplace sexual harassment in light of the rising number of documented incidences of women sexual harassment.”


Employers must also routinely train their IC members on the specifics of the POSH Act and the proper protocol for conducting investigations. A thorough comprehension of the interpretation used by Indian courts and the capacity to view situations through the eyes of the judiciary are required to keep litigation at bay.




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