The Corporates are now mandated to compulsorily reveal sexual harassment cases in their annual reports. About 601 cases of sexual harassment have been reported as per the Nifty study about the companies in the financial year 2018 alone. ICICI bank recorded 99 cases, Wipro follows with 101 cases and Infosys with 77 cases have been recorded in 2018. Corporates hire external firms for implementing the POSH Act to manage redressal mechanisms and constitute Internal Complaints Committees (ICC). POSH Consultant in India helps extremely to implement the POSH Act.
In India, the legislation that addresses sexual harassment at workplace is the Sexual Harassment Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013 known as the POSH Act. “Vishakha Guidelines” issued by the Supreme Court in 1997 is the base of the act. In 2007, the bill was introduced and in 2010 it was tabled. It was passed by the lower house on September 2012. The rape of a young student at Delhi in 2012 made the government set the “Justice Verma Committee”. In February 2013 it was passed by the upper house and given presidential assent in April 2013.
The POSH Act defines sexual harassment and includes complaints mechanism. It requires an Internal Committee to be set up within every company that has at least 10 or more workers to examine and probe matters within the workplace. The sections deal with the appointment of its members, their duties, the committee’s formation, and the committee’s process and procedures.
In the present days, the corporate sector well-updated with the best international practices. Many corporate already set them in a status of being followed with the law. As per an individual consultant survey, only 3% of companies had not yet constituted an ICC.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development issued advisories to all States/UTs Government on 23rd December, 2013 and 27th October 2014 to make sure the effective implementation of the Act. The Ministries and Departments in Government of India have also been advised to make sure the observance of the Act from time to time. In the Indian Government, all Ministries, and departments constituted Internal Complaint Committee under the Act. In addition to that Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Society, National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), Ministry of Corporate Affairs along with the industry bodies, Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCI), and Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) have been requested to make sure the effective implementation of the Act amid their members in private sectors.
The Act applies to an “aggrieved woman,” a woman of any age whether she is employed or not, who claims to have been subjected to any act of sexual harassment. The Act applies to a large number of companies in India and there are very little companies they can do to evade their responsibility.
A major contribution of the POSH Act has been in defining sexual harassment as a crime in various forms such as emotional, physical, explicit and implicit actions. It defines the entire gamut of sexual harassment as “unwelcome”.