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The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 came into existence and enforcement from the year 2013 for the safety of woman at workplaces.
But, ‘why are the employers still hesitant or against implementing the Act’ in their corporate system?
The reasons vary:
* It takes the least priority as compared to the other legal policies necessary for the organisation
* The budget being not allocated
* Have never come across such situations which demands to be compliant.
* Don’t believe an Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) policy is necessary as employees are aware of sexual harassment and how to tackle it
* Don’t find any pressing need for compliance will do it when faced with one.
Does it not look flimsy? For a successful organisation, employees are considered as the backbone. Apart from being strategically sound, it is also equally important to have the best code of business conduct by assuring the women workforce feel secure. Employers have much to lose if they fail to create and maintain a work environment that is free of sexual harassment.
Why compliance is mandatory?
If an organisation is not compliant, then the adverse repercussions are –
* Damage to the brand name, popularity, unnecessary media coverage,
* Greater employee attrition rate
* Failing to comply will manifest in personal harm to victims which negatively affects their productivity
* Legal implications for employers like cancellation of business license
* Risk a penalty of up to INR 50,000
The law requires that every employer, no matter whether for-profit or non-profit, requires to implement this policy to create and provide a safe workplace to their employees
Ways of being compliant –
* Determine and define the best format of policy and procedure which suits the organisation
* Display conspicuously at the workplace, the penal consequences of indulging in acts that may constitute sexual harassment
* Formation of the Internal Complaints Committee to solve complaints
* Creating awareness among employees through interactive elearning programs, classroom trainings, workshops etc
* Reporting the incidents annually to the authorities.
In conclusion, the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013 is a very positive step for the protection of women from such type of crimes at the workplace. So, what is needed now is the implementation by organizations of a framework in its true spirit to prevent, prohibit and redress cases of sexual harassment at workplace in order to create a safe and a secure working environment.