POSH Compliance Certificate

POSH Compliance Certificate

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 ( POSH Act) , enacted by the Government of India in 2013, is a legislation aimed at preventing and addressing sexual harassment of women at workplaces. The POSH Act outlines essential guidelines for organizations to foster a secure environment for women. These requirements are:

Policy (Rule 13 (a))

Organizations need to develop a comprehensive Sexual Harassment Policy in line with the requirements of the POSH Act. This policy should outline the organization's commitment to providing a safe workplace, define sexual harassment, explain the procedure for filing complaints, and detail the consequences of sexual harassment. The policy should cover complaints handling, investigation timelines, Submission of inquiry report, disciplinary measures, legal consequences, and appeal procedures.

Constitution of valid IC (Section 4)

As per the POSH Act, it is mandatory for every organization in India with 10 or more employees to constitute an Internal Committee (IC) to address complaints of sexual harassment at the workplace.

Following things should be considered while constituting an IC:

1) That the Presiding Officer is a Senior Level woman employee.
2) That term of all IC members is 3 (three) years.
3) That at least 50% of the IC member shall be women.
4) That all IC members are “Employees” and not “Employers”.

Annual Reports (Section 21)

According to Section 21 of the POSH Act 2013, the IC is required to submit an annual report to the District Officer. The IC should prepare and submit an annual report to the organization's management, detailing the number of complaints received, actions taken, and measures implemented for prevention and redressal of sexual harassment. This Annual Report is then forwarded to the District Officers and Women and Child Development Office.

Annual Report (Section 22)

Section 22 of the POSH act states that the employer shall include in its report the number of cases filed, if any, and their disposal under the Act in the annual report of the organization or where no such report is required to be prepared, intimate such number of cases, if any, to the District Officer. The Companies (Accounts) Rules, 2014 also outline certain requirements in this regard. Depending on the type of organization, disclosure requirements vary.

Notices and Posters (Section 19(b))

The organization should prominently display notices and Posters in the workplace informing employees about their rights, the procedure for filing complaints, and the contact details of the IC members.

Dissemination of the policy (Rule 13 (a))

Once the policy is finalized, the company needs to ensure that the policy is shared with all the employees. This can be done through employee portals, emails, putting up copies of the policy on notice board or any other internal communication mechanism that is used internally.

Order in Writing (Section 4)

IC has to be constituted by “an order in writing”. This means that the constitution of IC is required to be formally done (in writing) by the employer 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 they have under India laws and laws they have to follow. Employers that are registered as a Company (as per companies act, 1956 / 2013) would require a board resolution to be passed.

Registration of IC (As per Notification)

The POSH act does not specifically talk about registration. However, various districts or states issue circulars, orders, or notifications asking workplaces within their jurisdiction to formally register their ICs. Currently registration of IC is required for Mumbai, Pune, Karnataka, Telangana and Noida.

IC training (Rule 13 (b and d))

Members of the IC, including the Presiding Officer and other committee members, undergo training on handling complaints of sexual harassment. This training equips them with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively investigate complaints, mediate conflicts, and ensure a fair and impartial process.

Employee Awareness Session (Section 19(c) and Rule 13 (f))

A Sensitization programme needs to be conducted to educate all employees about their rights and responsibilities under the POSH Act. It covers topics such as what constitutes sexual harassment, how to recognize it, the procedure for filing complaints, and the consequences of engaging in harassment. Employee awareness training aims to create a culture of respect and zero tolerance towards sexual harassment in the workplace.

Our Process for Ascertaining Compliance.

For issuing the POSH compliance certificate, EALLP, may initiate the process by requesting copies of the client’s POSH compliance documents, which could include the list of IC members, the formal Order in writing, Annual reports, and any relevant training records, among others. Reviewing these documents will help the us assess our client’s compliance with the POSH Act. We would also inquire about the training provided to employees and IC members on sexual harassment prevention and complaint redressal procedures. Should any compliance gaps be identified, we are committed to assisting our clients in fulfilling these requirements in accordance with the law. As part of our commitment to ensuring compliance, we propose scheduling a call with our clients to discuss these matters in detail and address any concerns or questions they may have. This call serves as an opportunity to collaborate closely with our clients to reinforce the importance of POSH compliance and to facilitate the necessary steps to achieve it. Upon confirmation that all necessary steps have been satisfactorily completed, we proceed to issue the compliance certificate to our clients, signifying their adherence to the requirements outlined by the POSH Act.

Sample Badge & Certificate

How can this certificate and Ribbon be used?

At Equilibrio Advisory LLP, we strive to create Workplaces that are safer and more conducive – the kind that enable employees to unlock their true potential. It is our vision and mission to build Workplaces that are Equitable and Safe and have assisted 500+ organizations in complying with this Law. To know more about the compliances, our clients and more, please visit https://equilibrioadvisory.org/.
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