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POSH Act Compliance: ICC in Your Workplace

The POSH Act is a law that aims to protect women from sexual harassment at the workplace in India. It stands for the Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment Act, 2013. The act was passed by the Parliament of India in 2013, after the landmark Vishaka judgment of the Supreme Court in 1997, which laid down the guidelines for preventing and addressing sexual harassment at work. The act defines sexual harassment as any unwelcome act or behavior of a sexual nature that interferes with a woman’s work performance or creates a hostile work environment. The act also provides for the constitution of an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) in every organization with more than 10 employees, and a Local Committee (LC) in every district, to receive and redress complaints of sexual harassment. The act also mandates that every employer should take preventive measures, such as conducting awareness programmes, displaying the act and rules, and providing assistance to the aggrieved woman. The act also prescribes penalties for false or malicious complaints, non-compliance with the provisions of the act, and victimization of the complainant or witness. The act is a progressive and comprehensive legislation that seeks to ensure a safe and dignified work environment for women in India.

Consequences of Non-Compliance of PoSH Act

The consequences for non-compliance with the PoSH Act could prove to be bad for the reputation of the organisation. It could also lead to the government taking legal action against them. For example, actions for non-formation of ICC are.

  • Penalty up to Rs. 50000 on the organisation. 
  • The penalty could be doubled in case of repeated offense.
  • Cancellation of business license could also happen for regular non-compliance. 

Apart from this, not filing the annual PoSH report to the district office could also lead to action taken against the company by the government. 

All this proves that PoSH compliance is not just a formality but rather a duty of the companies to ensure a safe working environment for women. If your company needs support for becoming PoSh compliant and drafting Posh Policy then contact a legal firm near you for assistance. 

Understanding the POSH Act:
The POSH Act aims to protect both men and women from sexual harassment in the workplace. It emphasizes creating awareness among employees, implementing prevention measures, and establishing a mechanism for addressing complaints effectively. The primary goal is to maintain a work environment free from any form of discrimination, where every employee can work with dignity.

Role of ICC in POSH Act Compliance:
The Internal Complaints Committee plays a crucial role in the successful implementation of the POSH Act in an organization. The ICC is responsible for:

  1. Handling complaints related to sexual harassment.
  2. Ensuring a fair investigation into each complaint received.
  3. Ensuring confidentiality during the investigation process.
  4. Recommending appropriate action or remedies to resolve the complaint.
  5. Submitting annual reports to the employer and District Officer.

What should you do to be compliant?

Steps for Implementing ICC in Your Workplace:

  1. Draft a strong POSH Policy
  2. Sensitize all employees through POSH Training
  3. Form an Internal Committee (IC)
  4. Train the Internal Committee members on investigation procedure, formalities, confidentiality, formatting of reports and submission
  5. Filing of the annual report to the District Officer
  6. Drive POSH compliance in your organization

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