Protect your company against sexual harassment complaints

Empanelled By Govt. Of India


The new POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment) policy helps companies manage and resolve sexual harassment issues and complaints.

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POSH Compliance is MANDATORY for all companies with 10+ employees.


Internal Training & Sensitization

We conduct workshop for employee training and ICC Committee members

POSH policy documentation

We ensure your business is compliant and protected by drafting your POSH policy

External ICC Member

We assign an experienced female lawyers as your external ICC member


WHAT IS THE PENALTY FOR NON COMPLIANCE

If an employer fails to constitute an ICC or does not comply with the requirements prescribed under the POSH Act, a heavy monetary penalty may be imposed. A repetition of the same offence could result in the punishment being doubled and/or de-registration of the entity or revocation of any statutory business licenses.



THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF WOMEN AT WORKPLACE ACT, 2013

Sexual harassment of women in workplaces is one of the major hurdles in the march towards gender equality. The National Commission for Women state that about 2 women were harassed at their workplace in India every day in 2017. There has been a 45% rise in sexual harassment cases at workplaces in the past 3 years. In a survey conducted by the Indian Bar Association in 2017, 70% of 6,047 women stated that they did not report sexual harassment by superiors because they feared the repercussions.

In an effort to enable a safe and inclusive workplace for women, the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 and the rules therein (POSH Laws) were implemented.

IS THIS APPLICABLE TO YOUR BUSINESS?

POSH is applicable to every workplace, establishment, Company or organization with more than 10 employees. It includes all forms of business like a firm, shop, restaurant, movie theatre or a multi-national company. POSH will be applicable even in situations where there are only male employees in the organization.



THE REQUIREMENTS TO BE POSH COMPLIANT

a) Every organization must formulate an internal policy for the prohibition, prevention and redressal of sexual harassment at the workplace intended to promote gender sensitive safe spaces and remove underlying factors that contribute towards a hostile work environment against women.

b) Organizations must form an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) and carry out orientation and training programs and seminars for the members.

c) Organizations must also carry out employees training and awareness programs regarding sexual harassment at workplaces and the remedies available to them.

d) All the rights and remedies available to the employees against sexual harassment must be displayed at the workplace, together with the names and contact details of all the ICC members.

e) Meetings must be conducted by the ICC to discuss issues and resolve matters of sexual harassment and submit an annual report regarding the number of complaints received and resolved to the District Officer concerned.



PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS.
GET POSH COMPLIANT STARTING AT JUST Rs.20,000/- ANNUALLY*.

We offer training sessions for employees and ICC members, IC representation and provide end-to-end solution in workplace sexual harassment cases across India. Our long standing experience in tackling peculiar issues at workplace along with our comprehensive understanding of the Act makes us ideal for POSH services.

Our services can be classified under two parts-

1) ONE TIME SERVICES
- We will design a POSH policy in compliance with the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013 and keeping in mind the specific requirements of your company.

- Categorically stating in the HR policy or service rules that sexual harassment will be treated as misconduct and can lead to termination on an employee.

- Setting up of ICC to resolve complaints on sexual harassment at workplace.

- Appointing the External ICC Member – An experienced female lawyer as your external ICC Member to handle any complaints and issues.


2) ONGOING SERVICES
- Organising training sessions for ICC members.

- Awareness programmes for employees.

- Filing of annual report in every calendar year.

- Awareness campaigns through mailers and videos.



SOME OF OUR CLIENTS






WHY CHOOSE LAWRATO?





Nationwide Presence

LawRato is one of India’s largest online platforms with a network of over 10k female lawyers on-board, across 700+ cities, who can be empanelled on the ICC.



Advocate as ICC Member

LawRato provides experienced lawyers as your external ICC member who could also double up as your legal attorney in case of any complaints.



Hassle free

Running a business is complicated, but being compliant with the law need not be. Let LawRato make your workplace POSH compliant while you make your profits!



Cost-efficient

“Good things don’t come cheap”, need not always be true. At LawRato we believe that following the law should not be expensive.



Additional Legal Support

Require further legal assistance? LawRato is India’s leading lawyer search platform that helps 15 Lac users every month in all areas of law.



Transparency

What you see is what you get! No hidden or additional charges. Get transparent quotes with LawRato.


15 Lac

Monthly Visitors

75,000

Satisfied Clients

10,000+

Lawyer Network

700+

Cities in India


EXPERIENCED POSH EXPERTS


LawRato has over 100 experienced female experts available to join as your ICC external member:




Advocate Madhuri Bakshi

Sector 16, Faridabad



Advocate Sudershani Ray

Kailash Hills, Delhi



Ms. Sutapa Sanyal, IPS

Delhi NCR



Advocate Ishika Tolani

Santa Cruz (West), Mumbai





Frequently Asked Questions



What can be classified as sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is an unwelcome sexual advance, unwelcome request for sexual favours or other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which makes a person feel offended, humiliated and/or intimidated, where a reasonable person would anticipate that reaction in the circumstances.

Examples of sexually harassing behaviour include:

- unwelcome touching;

- staring or leering;

- suggestive comments or jokes;

- sexually explicit pictures or posters;

- unwanted invitations to go out on dates;

- requests for sex;

- intrusive questions about a person's private life or body;

- unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing up against a person;

- insults or taunts based on sex;

- sexually explicit physical contact; and

- sexually explicit emails or SMS text messages.

How will complaints be filed?

- Any aggrieved woman can file a complaint of sexual harassment to ICC within 3 months of the incident. This period can be further extended by another 3 months.

- Where the woman is unable to make a complaint due to her physical incapacity, her legal heir, relative or friend, co-worker, an officer of the National Commission for Women or State Women’s Commission may make a complaint on her behalf.

- If the woman is suffering from mental incapacity, a qualified psychiatrist or psychologist or the guardian or authority under whose care she is receiving treatment or care, can file the complaint.

How should the complaints be resolved?

- Firstly, the ICC may try to concile the matter between the parties, if the aggrieved woman requests this. But monetary settlement cannot be the basis of such conciliation.

- If no solution is reached, the ICC will inquire into the complaint and give both parties a chance to be heard and complete the inquiry within 90 days. During the inquiry process neither party will be allowed to bring their lawyer.

- The ICC will then prepare an inquiry report giving recommendations on the matter in 10 days, and give a copy of the same to the employer and the concerned parties.

- The employer is then required to act on the recommendations within 60 days.

- If a victim is dissatisfied with the findings of ICC, she can appeal to an appropriate Court/tribunal.

What relief can be given to the victim?

The ICC could either-

- Transfer the aggrieved woman or the respondent to any other workplace;

- Grant leave to the aggrieved woman up to a period of three months (in addition to the leave she would be otherwise entitled), during pendency of inquiry, but only if the victim makes a written request.

Rule 8 of the Rules, provides for further relief to complainants during pendency of inquiry, such as: restraining the respondent from reporting on the work performance of the aggrieved woman or writing her confidential report, and assign the same to another officer.

Compensation– While determining compensation, ICC may take note of:

- mental trauma,

- pain,

- suffering; and

- emotional distress caused to the victim;

- loss in career opportunity;

- medical expenses incurred by the victim for physical or psychiatric treatment;

- income and financial status of the Respondent; and

- feasibility of such payment in lump sum or in installments.

What are the duties of an employer?

The law has provided for several duties of the employer. Such duties begin at the time when an employer has to set up an internal complaints committee to ensure that aggrieved can file their complaints and seek redressal to such complaints and end at the time when the employer has provided certain data, in accordance with the provisions of the law, in relation to sexual harassment in its annual report. There are several other duties of an employer under the law, some of which are provided below:

- Provide a safe working environment at the workplace which shall include safety from the persons coming into contact at the workplace.

- Display at any conspicuous place in the workplace, the penal consequences of sexual harassments: and the order constituting, the Internal Committee.

- Organize workshops and awareness programmes at regular intervals for sensitising the employees with the provisions of the Act and orientation programmes for the members of the Internal Committee.

- Provide necessary facilities to the Internal Committee for dealing with the complaint and conducting an inquiry.

- Assist in securing the attendance of respondent and witnesses before the Internal Committee.

- Make available such information to the Internal Committee as it may require having regard to the complaint.

- Provide assistance to the woman if she so chooses to file a complaint in relation to the offence under the Indian Penal Code.

- Cause to initiate action, under the Indian Penal Code or any other law for the time being in force, against the perpetrator, or if the aggrieved woman so desires, where the perpetrator is not an employee, in the workplace at which the incident of sexual harassment took place.

- Treat sexual harassment as misconduct under the service rules and initiate action for such misconduct.

- Monitor the timely submission of reports by the Internal Committee.

What is the nature of offences under the Act?

Offences under the Act are non-cognizable which means one cannot be arrested without a warrant.

What are the obstacles in the implementation of POSH?

LACK OF TRAINING AND AWARENESS
It can be extremely time consuming and cumbersome to deliver the required training to the ICC members which leads to employers very often overlooking this need.

EMPLOYEE'S LACK OF CONFIDENCE
Employees often choose not to report instances of sexual harassment due to a lack of confidence in the ICC and fear of hierarchy.

EXCESSIVE IMPLEMENTATION COSTS
The POSH laws require organizations to draft separate internal policies, appoint an external member for the ICC, conduct workshops and so on. This adds to the organization’s expenses which often employers try to avoid.

Why is POSH needed?

The POSH Laws are meant to protect every possible working woman and give her the means to seek redressal on issues of workplace harassment; the scope of this law is very wide.

The guiding principles of this law are to ensure that any woman who walks into any organization has a forum to seek redressal when faced with an issue of sexual harassment.

Accordingly, every person running an organization (i.e., any person responsible for the management, supervision, and control of the workplace and management), immaterial of the sector of operations, number of persons employed and the nature of business (profitable versus non-profit) must comply with POSH laws.

What is the composition of the ICC?

The Internal Committee shall consist of a minimum of 4 members who are to be nominated by the employer of the organization, and they are:

a) A Presiding Officer who shall be a woman employed at a senior level at workplace from amongst the employees.

b) Not less than two Members from amongst employees preferably committed to the cause of women or who have had experience in social work or have legal knowledge.

c) One member from amongst non-governmental organisations or associations committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment.

It must be noted that at least one-half of the total Members nominated shall be women.