Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) policy for companies
This policy is in accordance with the provisions of “The Sexual Harassment of
Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013”. The
purpose of this policy is to prevent sexual harassment against women in the
workplace and also to protect them. Every company aims to provide a safe
working environment for all people.
This policy is applicable to all the members of the company including employer
and those who are employed on regular, temporary, on a daily wage basis, etc.
The policy also extends to those who are not employees of the company such as
customers, clients, visitors, interns, contract workers, suppliers, etc.
This policy is restricted to the business locations of the company and any
external location visited by the employees during the course of employment
whether inside or outside of India.
All the employees should have the personal responsibility to ensure that their
behavior is not in contravention with the policy. Every company has to display
the “Do’s and Don’ts” list in a place where everyone can see and read it.
Any behavior which may be physical, psychological, graphical, emotional, verbal,
written, electronic, gestures which are offending, etc. is defined as
inappropriate by the policy. Any act of the person either intentional or not,
should not offend the dignity of the other person. If done so then serious
disciplinary action is taken against the person who has performed such act.
Sexual harassment ( direct or by implication ) includes:
· Any kind of unusual and unwelcome sexual requests or demand for sexual
favors in return for employment, promotion, examination or evaluation of a
· Stalking, displaying indecent posters, showing pornography, sending
jokes, comments, messages which are inappropriate and sexual in nature, lurid
stares, physical contact or molestation, inappropriate sounds, signs,
questioning about person’s private life or body, insults or taunts based on sex
or any kind of communication either verbal or non-verbal which affects the
performance of the individual.
· Physical confinement against one’s will and likely to interrupt the
privacy of the person.
· Any act or conduct by a person who is in authority, which creates the
environment at workplace hostile or intimidating to a person belonging to the
ICC (Internal Complaint Committee):
Every company in which there are 10 or more employees must have ICC and all the
complaints regarding sexual harassment are dealt with the committee. The ICC
should comprise of 4 members among them half of the members will necessarily
have to be women.
4 members of ICC:
1. A presiding officer, women working at a senior level in the office
2. Any member who is committed to the cause of women
3. Any member of the company who has legal knowledge and experience in
4. Any external member for example NGOs, any person familiar with issues
related to sexual harassment.
If in a company there are less than 10 persons then no need to form a committee
and in this case all the complaints go to the local complaints committee which
is set up by district officers in every district as per the Act.
The complaints committee is responsible for receiving and investigating every
complaint of sexual harassment, submitting findings and recommendation of the
inquiry to the employer and coordinating with the employer before implementing
any kind of appropriate action. The committee is also responsible to maintain
confidentiality throughout the process.
It is the duty of the employer to provide a safe working environment and conduct
awareness programs regarding the prevention of sexual harassment and provide
necessary assistance and facilities to the committee in dealing with the
Procedure for dealing with complaints:
The complaint is needed to be lodged within 3 months from the date of incident
along with any documentary evidence or names of witnesses if available. The
committee can also extend the timeline to another 3 months if it is satisfied
with the reasons which prevented the lodging of a complaint within the first 3
months. The complaint shall be in any form wither through phone or email but
every oral communication should be followed up with the written communication
and in any case where a complaint cannot be made in writing then the presiding
officer or any member of the committee shall assist the person for making the
complaint in writing.
In case if an aggrieved person is unable to lodge the complaint then any person
who is having knowledge of the incident or any family member/ relative/ friend
or co-worker can lodge the complaint on behalf of his/her. It is the
responsibility of the person who receives the complaint should inform the
ICC can try and make parties to settle but monetary compensation is not the
basis for settlement. If the aggrieved person is not ready to settle then ICC
will inquire into the complaint and both the parties will get a chance to be
heard and complete the inquiry within 90 days. After the inquiry, if the person
who committed such act is found guilty then Corrective action is taken by the
appropriate authority. Corrective action includes
# Formal apology
# Transfer of the person to other department
# Suspension or termination of services of the employee found guilty for
# A written warning to the concerned employee and a copy of it are
maintained in his record.
Reliefs to victims:
# Monetary compensation
# Grant leave for 3 months
# Transfer the victim to any other department where he/she feels safe to
If the employer does not comply with the law then fine of Rs.50,000/- can be
imposed. On repeated non-compliance of the law employer can be penalized with
twice the punishment. Non-compliance can also lead to cancellation of licence,
withdrawal or non-renewal of registration for carrying on business, by the