Is POSH training mandatory in India? Why?

Study says, over 50% women face sexual harassment in the workplace. More than half of them are young professionals between the age of 21 to 25! Sexual harassment at the workplace is a major concern around the globe, including India! The Prevention of Sexual Harassment of women at workplace (POSH) Act came into force in 2013 to address this issue. The act provides a comprehensive legal framework for preventing and addressing instances of sexual harassment in the workplace.

But what exactly is sexual harassment at the workplace?

Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome act or behaviour, such as:-

  • Physical contact or advance
  • A demand or request for sexual favors
  • Making sexually coloured remarks
  • Showing pornography
  • Any other physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.

Sexual harassment at the workplace can take various forms. Please visit SheBox to know more..

Is POSH training mandatory in India?

Yes. It is mandatory for organizations in India to comply with the POSH Act, including providing training to employees. Let’s understand PoSH compliance better to know why the POSH training is mandatory.

Here are the five steps organizations can take to become POSH complaint: 

  1. Creation and implementation of an Anti-sexual harassment policy: Organizations should create a comprehensive anti-sexual harassment policy. They should communicate this policy to all employees and display it prominently in the workplace.
  2. Organizations must form proper Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) at each location. The IC should have the following members:
  • Presiding Officer– Woman working at senior level in the organization
  • 2 Members (at least) – Amongst employees committed to women issues, have legal knowledge or experience in social work
  • 1 External Member from NGO
  1. Sensitisation and training of employees and ICC members: Organizations should provide sensitization and awareness training to employees to educate them on the provisions of the POSH Act and the steps they can take to prevent and address incidents of sexual harassment. ICC must be trained as well.
  1. Display of Posters and Notices: Organizations should display posters and notices in the workplace to raise awareness of the provisions of the POSH Act and the organization’s anti-sexual harassment policy. They should display these posters and notices  prominently and in easily accessible locations. It should include the penal consequences of sexual harassment and contact details of the ICC.
  1. Annual Report Filing: Organizations must file an annual report including the number of complaints received, disposed and the steps taken to address them.

What are the repercussions of non-compliance?

As per the provisions of the POSH Act, all organizations with 10 or more employees must put in place, the measures to prevent and address incidents of sexual harassment. Failure to comply can result in serious consequences, including fines and legal action to the tune of canceling a business license for repeated offense.

Why is POSH training important?

Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) training is important to create a safe and inclusive workplace for all employees, particularly women. By providing employees with an understanding of what constitutes sexual harassment and the steps they can take to report it, organizations can foster a more welcoming environment for women. This increased awareness not only leads to a decrease in the number of cases of sexual harassment, but also contributes to improved productivity as employees feel confident and secure in their workplace.

POSH training helps stop sexual harassment by creating a workplace culture that promotes awareness and discourages such behavior. By educating employees on what is sexual harassment and providing them with the tools and resources to report it, the likelihood of such incidents occurring decreases. Additionally, the training helps to create a sense of responsibility among employees to avoid engaging in inappropriate behavior, and to intervene if they witness it. Fear of consequences such as disciplinary action, legal punishment and damage to reputation, serves as a deterrent for those who may be inclined to engage in such behavior.

In short, POSH training creates a safe workplace culture that promotes respect, inclusivity, and discourages sexual harassment.

In addition to creating a positive, safe and productive workplace culture, providing POSH training also helps employers meet their legal obligations and safeguard their reputation.

PoSHHelp provides end to end POSH compliance services to companies in India. It has certified professionals and experts to help you become POSH compliant.  Do you want to conduct POSH training for your employees and need help, do reach out to us.

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