The Law provides that employers must formulate a policy against sexual harassment at workplace. Depending on type of organization and rules applicable to the same, the following kind of policies may be options:
- POSH Policy for Women (where Service Rules are applicable)
- POSH Policy for Women (where Service Rules are not applicable)
While the Law is for Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal of complaints filed by women several organizations also choose to extend the benefit of POSH Law to other genders. Therefore following kind of policies may be options.
- POSH Policy for all Genders (where Service Rules are applicable)
- POSH Policy for all Genders (where Service Rules are not applicable)
You can also refer to the FAQs below.
The Policy has been drafted by legal experts after keeping in mind the legal provisions as well as the practical challenges resolved over several years of experience. The Policy will broadly cover the following points:
- Examples to explain different forms of Sexual Harassment
- Composition & Constitution of IC along with space for mentioning names of IC members
- Who can file a complaint?
- Where can a person file a complaint?
- Manner of filing Complaint
- What is the complaint redressal mechanism?
- Provisions related to penalties of different types
Yes. Since the law places a specific obligation under law on Organizations to formulate a policy that is in compliance with the Law in India, all organizations, irrespective of whether they have an international policy dealing with workplace harassment or sexual harassment, will still need to have an internal Indian policy for Sexual Harassment that is India specific.
The Law has been made for women, hence, a policy for protection of women and redressal for complaints made by them is a must as per law. If a policy for safety of women isn’t made, it could be challenged in a court of law and that could lead to penalties for the organization. If process under law is not followed for complaints filed by women, it could be challenged.
As mentioned, The Law has been made for women, hence, a policy for protection of women and redressal for complaints made by them is a must as per law.
There is no law for other genders, hence, its an internal decision whether to expand the scope of POSH policy and make it available for the benefit of other genders as well or to have a separate policy for other genders.
The POSH law refers to Service Rules in several places. For example, under Section 11 it states that IC, shall, where the respondent is an employee, proceed to make inquiry into the complaint in accordance with the ‘provisions of the service rules applicable’ to the respondent and where no such rules exist, in such manner as may be prescribed.
Hence, if any services rules apply to the employees working in your organization, the policy will also need to have a mention of it.
Yes. As per Rule 13 discussed in the first FAQ.
How the Policy needs to be disseminated is not specified under the Law. Hence, practically, any organization can do so by putting it on notice board / intranet / website etc. or share it with employees over email.
If Policy is not disseminated, it may be considered as non-existent and may raise concerns as in the case of Global Health Private Limited Vs. Local Complaints Committee, District Indore and others, High Court of Madhya Pradesh, 16th Sept 2019 (Court noted here that even if IC existed, it wasn’t clear as no information was available about. It levied penalty of INR 25,00,000 in total in this case).
The policy is not a secret document. Dissemination in fact shows the positive attitude of the organization and the fact that you do not tolerate sexual harassment. Many organizations’ policies are available online publicly.