Is PoSH Training mandatory in india? is the frequent question I get from CEOs and Head HR.
Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, came into force in 2013. Since its “an Act to provide protection against sexual harassment of women at workplace”. Thus, for the prevention and redressal of complaints of sexual harassment and in matters connected therewith or incidental thereto”. Hence, it’s jurisdiction extends to the whole of India.
Sexual Harassment violates the fundamental rights of a woman to equality under Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India and her right to life and to live with dignity under Article 21 of the Constitution. And the right to practice any profession, which involves a right to a safe environment free from Sexual Harassment.
“As Sexual Harassment at the workplace is a horrific violation of an individual’s rights.”
The law applies to every employer whether an individual, partnership or a company. Therefore, every organization, be it Public Limited Company, Private Limited Company, Limited Liability Partnership, Partnership Firms, Association, Society, Trust, Proprietorship or even an NGO, irrespective of its size and number of the employees, has to comply with the laws enshrined in the Act.
As per PoSH Act 2013 , it is mandatory to provide training to all employees.
It has been made mandatory to include a statement in the Director’s report that the company has complied with provisions relating to the constitution of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) under POSH laws. The Companies (Accounts) Rules, 2014 have been amended to mandate the disclosure regarding the implementation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act (POSH laws) in the Director’s report of every company.
Why is PoSH training mandatory in India ?
What is sexual harassment in the office? Can texting or a casual touch at lunch make you a Sexual Harassment offender? Can reporting harassment make me lose my job?
These are some of the common questions that employees are either unaware of or too afraid to ask. At the same time, organizations don’t have the requisite training or processes to ensure Prevention of Sexual Harassment.
To provide a safe and gender-neutral work environment, an organization’s employees, managers & directors need to be educated on what is and isn’t sexual harassment under PoSH training. For instance, sexual harassment isn’t only limited to its most obvious form such as making inappropriate advances. It can also include unwelcome verbal or physical behavior that creates a hostile work environment. Also, it is not limited to the office space only, but can go beyond within the work environment.
PoSH training allows you to differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate workplace behavior and educates you on the definition & consequences under the PoSH Act.
The training can be done both online through video courses or via in-person workshops.
PoSH training is required to:
- Familiarize all employees with the applicable legal framework and best practices at work
- Sensitize managers towards gender equality due to the inherent nature of power differences
- Train the Internal Committee (IC) on how to handle complaints and resolve conflicts.
Compliance under PoSH Act
1. Committee: Each organization with more than 10 employees is required to form an Internal Complaints Committee headed by a “female presiding officer”,
2. Policy: Formulation of an internal POSH policy for the prevention and redressal of sexual harassment at workplaces.
3. Training Programmed: Orientation and training programmers are also required to be carried out by the organization.
- Annual Report: The organizations are also required to file an annual report with the information of the number of sexual harassment complaints received in a year, the number of complaints disposed of in a year, cases pending for more than 90 days, etc.
- Reporting under Directors Report: The Ministry of Corporate Affairs, through a Notification dated July 31, 2018, amended the Companies (Accounts) Rules 2014, in accordance with the request made by the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare. It is now compulsory for a company to make a statement in the Director’s Report that it has complied with the provisions regarding the constitution of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC).
An employer can be subjected to a penalty of up to INR 50,000 for:
Extended penalties shall be
- Firstly, the cancellation or withdrawal of his license.
- Secondly non-renewal, or cancellation of the registration.
- Next consequences of non-compliance
- Once booked underneath the Act, the goodwill of the organisation gets tarnished.
In many companies, especially in countries like India, talking about sexual harassment at the workplace has lot of social stigma attached to it. This is evident in the organizations where a majority of the workforce comprises of women. Just offering posh training for employees will not cut make much of an impact in this case. At Proud HR Services we understand the reality, and so we offer highly interactive and customized PoSH training sensitization programs. We understand the work culture, employee mindset, and company image before imparting any training.
Shivani Bose is a PoSH certified trainer and has been instrumental in implementing PoSH across industries. She is an external panel member of ICC for various companies. She has conducted several workshops on Gender sensitization and PoSH awareness and had counselled several clients facing mental wellness and gender bias issues.
Proud HR Services is an end-to-end service partner for the implementation of Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) legal compliance. We partner with companies on case redressal and policies to proactively build safer work cultures and sexual harassment (POSH) trainings either in person or virtually. We also help in empanelment of external members of IC.
For more details on diversity, inclusion and prevention of sexual harassment, pls contact at firstname.lastname@example.org
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