POSH Law may appear to be a Simple Law
However, as one looks deeper into it, there are several aspects that come out. Few of these are because:
- The provisions of Law need to be looked at in the context of letter & spirit and how they need to be applied to ensure safe workplaces and in this regard Indian Courts also pass several judgments from time to time
- The provisions of Law need to be looked at in light of these case laws and amendment to documents, process & practices may have to be made from Time to Time
- State & District bodies come out with Notifications & Orders from Time to Time
- A lot has been left by the Law on Employers to take care of (without being very prescriptive)
- This is also an evolving subject and there are several learnings along the way
What happens if POSH compliances are not in order?
In case of non-compliance, as penalty, POSH Act prescribes for fine up to INR 50,000 and cancellation of license to do business (in case of repetition)
However, courts have imposes higher penalties too in the past:
- CULCUTTA HIGH COURT – Not constituting an IC as well as not complying with other compliances. Penalty Rs. 1.68 crores
- MADHYA PRADESH HIGH COURT – Not constituting an IC and for the pain and suffering caused. Penalty Rs. 50 Lakhs + Rs. 50,000
- APPELLATE AUTHORITY – Arrears of salary (that were deducted from the Respondent’s pay) and for creating a hostile working environment. Penalty Rs. 30 Lakhs + Rs. 4,80,000
In some other cases, different kind of actions have been taken by Courts
These were not of the nature of monetary penalty but directly / indirectly led to monetary penalty / investment:
- GOA HIGH COURT – Improperly constituted IC & Action by Court was Reconstitution of the IC.
- MADHYA PRADESH HIGH COURT – External Member was not qualified & Action by Court was Reconstitution of IC and re-inquiry.
- APPELLATE AUTHORITY – Arrears of salary (that were deducted from the Respondent’s pay) and for creating a hostile working environment – Action by Court was Reconstitution of IC and re-inquiry.
- KARNATAKA HIGH COURT – IC did not follow procedure. IC members as well as the director also spoke to the media – Action by Court was IC was ordered to undergo training so as to avoid any further lapses.
In light of the above, we have been assisting our Clients in conducting 3 kinds of Audit
BASIC POSH AUDIT
(Documents & Compliances)
FULL POSH AUDIT
(Documents, Compliances & Processes followed during inquiries)
SAFE WORKPLACE AUDIT
(POSH, Gender, Culture & More)