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Key Components of a Company’s POSH Policy

Shubhangi Jain

| Updated: Aug 12, 2022 | Category: Labour Compliance

POSH Policy

It is mandatory for a company to draft and disseminate an organisational POSH Policy to be in consonance with the Compliance under POSH Act[1]. However, it is difficult to have a “one size fits all” approach due to variations in each company’s culture and organisational structure. Therefore, it is essential for every company to be aware of the Key Components of a Company’s POSH Policy.

This article discusses the Key Components of a Company’s Posh Policy, which can help the company prepare a well-defined POSH Policy per its organisational structure.

What is POSH Policy?

A POSH Policy can be defined as a written document explaining a company’s stand toward the sexual harassment of the women in their company. The main purpose of formulating this policy is to prevent and prohibit sexual harassment of the employees, together with providing a redressal mechanism in the event of sexual harassment.

What are the key Components of a POSH Policy?

There are certain key components that should be mentioned in a POSH Policy, such as

Disclaimer by the Company about the compliance with the POSH Act

This section states that the company provides equal employment opportunities to every employee and is committed to providing a healthy work environment without discrimination based on caste, creed, religion, race etc. It also mentions that the company complies with the norms of the POSH Act and considers sexual harassment a grave offence.

Scope

This clause of the POSH Policy states the people to whom the policy extends. Usually, the POSH Policy extends to the employees within the organisation and is formulated per the POSH Act’s provisions. 

Definitions

This clause of the POSH Policy deals with the meaning of the terminologies used in the policy. The definition clause can vary depending on the company. However, there are certain key definitions that must be mandatorily mentioned in the definition clause, such as sexual harassment, aggrieved women/ complainant, respondent employee, employer, workplace, and internal committee, to name a few.

Roles and Responsibilities

The clause enumerates the Roles and Responsibilities of the Employer and the employees. Broadly the provisions of rights and responsibilities should include the following information.

  • Avoiding the initiation or participation in any activity that constitutes sexual harassment
  • Encouraging and supporting the person to reject and raise a voice against any unwelcomed behaviour.
  • Contributing to the speedy disposal of the inquiry or lodging a complaint of sexual harassment in the best way possible.

Internal Committee

This clause contains all the information about the internal committee. The key components of this clause are –

  • Constitution of the Committee
  • Contact details of the members of the Committee
  • Functions of the Committee
  • Grounds for disqualification of the members   

Redressal Mechanism

This section of the POSH Policy talks about the redressal mechanism, which the company shall follow. This clause must contain but is not limited to the following information.

  • Procedure for filing a complaint with the internal committee
  • Conciliation procedure (if any)
  • Inquiry procedure
  • Provisions regarding interim relief, such as circumstances in which the relief will be offered together with the same quantum.
  • Timeline for the completion of the inquiry
  • Circumstances that will lead to the passing of Ex- parte order or termination of proceedings
  • Formulation of inquiry report

Penalties

Under this head of POSH Policy,  the company should mention the penalties for non-compliance with the rules and regulations of the company. This head can include information such as

  • The list of events that constitute non-compliance or are considered an offence in the organisation
  • The offences may include initiating or participating in sexual harassment, filing a false complaint with the internal committee, and threatening the aggrieved person, to name a few.
  • The quantum of penalties for the non-compliance or commission of an offence.
  • The action will be taken in case of the repetition of the same offence along with the quantum of the penalty for the same.

Confidentiality

 Generally, this clause is inserted to protect the company’s sensitive information. With respect to the POSH Policy, this clause is added to safeguard the information of the parties and any other relevant information related to the POSH proceedings, together with the consequences of breach of confidentiality. This clause states that the information of the parties and the proceedings shall be considered confidential and shouldn’t be disclosed outside the company.

Protection against retaliation

This clause focuses on protecting the parties from any form of retaliation. It must state that the company would ensure that the parties involved in the inquiry, be it the complainant, respondent or witness, are not victimised or discriminated against by any person.

Conclusion

It can be concluded from the above article that the POSH Policy plays a vital role in communicating the company’s efforts toward preventing and prohibiting sexual harassment of its employees and providing a safe working environment for them. Therefore businesses must be acquainted with the Key Components of a Company’s POSH Policy.

Read our Article: Employer Compliance relating to Sexual Harassment at Workplace

Shubhangi Jain

Shubhangi has completed her B. A.LLB (H) with specialization in Business Laws from Amity University. She is particularly interested in legal research and writing and wishes to utilize her knowledge to create informative legal content. She has prior experience in corporate and criminal litigation and has great drafting skills. She has also published various research papers in reputed journals.

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