The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act and Rules, 2013 (“Law”) mandates every Employer to “provide a safe working environment at the workplace which shall include safety from the persons coming into contact at the workplace” (Section 19 (a)).

All organizations (whether public or private) having 10 or more employees (whether permanent, temporary, ad-hoc, consultants, interns or contract workers irrespective of gender) are mandated under POSH Law to comply with certain requirements laid down under the POSH Act. This Law also lays down the redressal mechanism wherein the aggrieved person can file a sexual harassment complaint with the Internal Committee of the organization.

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Formulation & Dissemination of POSH Law Policy

The POSH Law provides that employers must formulate a policy against sexual harassment at workplace. Please note:
  • Copy of Law or Service Rules is not the same as Policy
  • A policy is must for women even if there is no policy for other genders
  • Even if there are only men as employees, a policy is must
  • Even if there are global policies, Indian policy as per Indian law is must

The Law states that policy needs to be disseminated. However, how the dissemination should take place has not been defined.
Draft Template of POSH Policy
IC Annual Report

Constitute an Internal Committee along with External Member

The POSH Law states that organizations, having 10 or more employees, must have an internal committee which shall consist of

  • A Women Presiding Officer 
  • At least 2 members from amongst employees 
  • 1 external member (independent person from amongst NGO or associations committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment) 
  • At least one half of the total members must be women 
  • Term of IC is three years
Further details with regards to the constitution and composition of the Internal Complaints Committee can be found here and here. 

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Constitute an Internal Committee by an Order in Writing

The POSH Law requires employers to constitute the IC by an order in writing. This means that the constitution of IC must be formally done (in writing) for it to be considered a legally constituted IC.

“An order in writing” may mean different things for different kinds of organizations and would depend on the type of registration.

Draft Template of Order in Writing

Train IC members & Organise Awareness Programs for Employees

The POSH Act states that the IC members should be regularly trained in order to enable them to inquire into sexual harassment complaints effectively and as per the procedure mentioned. Similarly, it also mandates that the employers should regularly organize training and awareness programs for sensitising the employees with the legal provisions. 

These can be conducted through in-person interactive sessions, interactive webinars, e-learning modules, podcasts, plays etc. and can be of different durations.

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Annual Report & Disclosure

As per the POSH Act, each separate legal entity, having an IC, must prepare and submit an annual report to the employer and the District Officer for every calendar year. This report shall include the number of cases filed and their disposal. 

As per MCA Rules (Companies (Accounts) Amendment Rules 2018), companies will also have to disclose that it has complied with the provisions relating to the constitution of IC. 

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Notices & Posters

As per POSH Law, an employer is responsible for creating awareness about the Policy, the redressal mechanism, consequences of sexual harassment and details of IC members (or order constituting it) in conspicuous places. A poster to create awareness could be displayed anywhere within the workplace, (on a notice board / website, office canteens, washrooms etc.) which is usually or frequently seen / visited by employees/ visitors. This will not only be helpful for the employees but also people coming from outside and will leave a message that your organization has zero tolerance towards any form of sexual harassment. 

Register IC with Government

Government Authorities have been coming out with notifications / orders from time to time requiring organizations to register their IC with Government. Mumbai, Noida, Telangana, & Karnataka have done this so far. More are expected shortly.

Consequences of Non - Complaince

Non-compliance with reporting requirements under the Law could lead to a fine of Rs. 50,000 and in case of subsequent conviction, penalty can be double the amount imposed earlier or lead to cancellation of license to do business.

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Upcoming & Past Events

Posh Certification Workshop in 2024

20th April 2024

Posh Certification Workshop in 2024

26th December 2023

MOP Up Employee Awareness Program

POSH Certification workshop

12th – 13th October (2:30 PM to 5:30 PM)

Capacity Building Certification Workshop for Internal Committee (POSH)

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POSH Equili, a vertical of Equilibrio Advisory LLP, that provides POSH-related compliance services

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