filing POSH annual report

Delay in filing POSH Annual Report

Employers are subject to a number of requirements under the Sexual Harassment (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013 (POSH Act) and the Sexual Harassment (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Rules, 2013, together referred to as the POSH Law. The annual report submission is one of these requirements.

The Internal Complaints Committee (IC) is required by Section 21 of the POSH Act to provide an annual report to the district officer and the employer each calendar year. The annual report needs to include a few essential elements:

  1. The number of complaints of sexual harassment received during the year.
  2. The number of complaints disposed of during the year.
  3. The number of sexual harassment cases pending for more than ninety (90) days.
  4. The number of workshops or awareness programs conducted by the employer to sensitize employees about the provisions of the POSH Law.
  5. The nature of action taken by the employer or district officer while handling sexual harassment complaints.

The District Officer may take appropriate action, such as sending a notice compelling the employer to file the report or imposing a penalty, if an employer neglects to file their POSH annual report. Penalties can range up to INR 50,000 and are determined by the specifics of each case.

The Act, and the rules do not provide a set period of time within which the annual report is to be mandatorily submitted, However, some district-level local authorities, including those in Uttar Pradesh and Mumbai, have announced the deadlines for submitting the annual reports.

The district authorities might specify a date for such submission for example in 2021 district officer of Gurugram mandated that all entities, both governmental and non-governmental, turn in their annual reports by April 30 of the following year. Furthermore, the organization will be subject to strict action under the POSH Law and will be fined INR 50,000 for failing to submit the annual report within the allotted time frame.

The purpose of filing POSH annual report is to give grassroots data about the application and implementation of the POSH Law, including information about filed sexual harassment complaints resolved, and awaiting action at each establishment. Nonetheless, there is still no centralized data on the effectiveness and implementation of the POSH Law, nine (9) years after it went into effect.

Filing POSH annual report clearly is a positive first step toward automating the process of ensuring that annual reports are submitted on time. However, a uniform timeline for all of India would reduce uncertainty regarding annual report submission and streamline the procedure for both employers and the IC. 

– By Anaida Khan Pursuing 4th year of BALLB (Hons.) from Dharmashashtra National Law University, Jabalpur

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