In India, the government implemented the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act for improving the environment and making it safer for women employees and the rule of it’s known as PoSH Rules.
Small and Medium Enterprise sector has been playing an extremely authoritative role in fortify country’s economic progress as well as it’s international standing. The sector has been influential in creating million of jobs, nurture industrial development in rural areas, production of diverse range of products with the limited capital investment. However, no enterprise can developed until and unless, there women are protected and their rights are indemnify inside the organization.
PoSH is linked to each and every company/establishment embrace of more than 10 employees including both private and public sector, government bodies, NGOs and it includes all form of business like a shop, restaurant or a multinational companies and also it is linked even in those offices where there are only male employees in the workplace.
Even though there are heavy penalties against violation of Posh law which can be result in cancellation of license to carry the business. The employees have to observe on Posh law not because of the heavy penalties but also for a welcoming work environment with hard and fast law against sexual harassment at workplace that would be result in extension growth of business.
Every organization has to rigorous formulate an internal policy for the prevention, forbidding and redressal of sexual harassment at workplace accent to publicize gender sensitive safe spaces and abolish hidden factors that add towards a ferocious work environment against women. They have to set up an Internal Complaints Committee ( to receive and redress complaints concerned to sexual harassment at workplace) and also conduct training as well as orientation programs for the members. At the workplace every employee against sexual harassment having the right and remedy with the names and contact details of all the ICC members.
There would be a regular and relevant meeting conducted by the ICC at the workplace to scrutinize issues and resolve matters of sexual harassment because the ICC had to submit an annual report with complete data on total number of complaints received and resolved to the concerned District Officer.
An employer have the responsibility towards the employee to set up an ICC so that they can report her complaint with some official authority to the workplace and try to get an instant and appurtenant justice for her. Also, the PoSH law not only embellish that the employers must pursue sexual harassment as a crime and association take action against it, but also embellish that employers have to focus on the ‘halt’ of sexual harassment at workplace past well and further take necessary precautionary steps towards it. The employer also having the responsibility to take advantage of programs created by state government to fulfil awareness programmes commune the employees with the law and commence action under IPC and any other law, against the accused, or if the victim so determine, where the accused is not an employee, in the office where the sexual harassment took place. Also obstruct sexual harassment as a crime under the office laws and take proper action against executioner for such crimes and analyse the in-time acceptance of reports by the ICC.
The employer have to follow the Posh law because ICC has to present the early report to the employer as well as a District Officer that report had the complete details of the total number of cases registered and solved and also about the awareness programs and workshop conducted on it. All of that, District Officer can ask any employer to submit all the information concerned to the sexual harassment at the workplace. Even though the government can survey the records and the workplace where each employer has to participate. Under the PoSH law any infringement of the law by an employer can result in a penalty of upto Rs. 50,000/- which also include cancellation of license to carry out the business if there has been regularly infringement of law.
In an ICC, minimum 4 members are required to hold office for 3 years at a purview. The governing officer of an ICC has to be a women employed at a senior position in office and also had to be one of the employees at the workplace. Confering to the law, these 2 internal member from the workplace and the employer must adopt to have employees committed to the cause of oppressed women employees or who have preceding experience in social work with applicable legal knowledge and one external member from NGOs or organization that are devoted to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues related to the sexual harassment at workplace. It further notify that at least half of the members of ICC should be women. An external member from the NGO or an organization is designate to an allowance by the employer of Rs. 200 per day to hold the transaction of the ICC with the restitution of the cost.
The landmark case is vishaka and others v. State of Rajasthan which laid down the guidelines for obstruct and redressal of the complaints by women who were sexually harassed at workplace. The guidelines commend the employer with the obligation to provide a safe and welcoming work environment.
All the women when comes to know about any such harassment, then they came up it to the notice of complaints committee. It is the duty of the committee to take care of everything should be confidential. Each and every female workers had to know that it is the duty of their employer to provide the confidential and safe environment to work . And also the male employees or employer must understand about these situation which would affect the health, Confidence and ability of the women and even also lead her to leaving her job. Women should not be fear to come forward with their problems and complaints.
Author: Prashanshu sharma,
Lloyd law college and 1st year /law