The POSH Act has been enacted to prevent and protect women in the workplace. Sexual harassment and to ensure effective redressal. 1. Statement of Objects and Reasons, Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.
Over the last few years, the awareness about this law has gone up in the industry; there are still many misconceptions. In this article, we will discuss some of the myths about POSH law.
Myth 1: POSH law is to protect only women employees from sexual harassment at the workplace. So, organisations cannot make any provisions for men or third gender to protect from sexual harassment.
Fact: POSH law indeed protects from sexual harassment for women. But it does not stop organisations from establishing a “gender-neutral” sexual harassment prevention policy. It will allow the organisation the authority to handle complaints of sexual harassment for all genders.
Myth 2: POSH law does not apply to organisations where women employees are not working.
Fact: The Act recognizes the right of every woman to a safe and secure workplace environment irrespective of her age or employment/work status. Hence, the right of all women working or visiting any workplace, whether in the capacity of regular, temporary, ad-hoc, or daily wages basis, is protected under the Act. It includes all women, whether engaged directly or through an agent, including a contractor, with or without the knowledge of the principal employer. They may be working for remuneration, voluntarily or otherwise. Hence you may not have women on the role but Act still gets applicable.
Myth 3: There are no consequences for false sexual harassment complaints.
Fact: POSH law permits IC to take appropriate action against the complainant and witnesses for false complaints. It is extremely crucial to remember that there should not be monetary compensation in a false complaint.
Myth 4 : POSH law does not apply when working from home or when working remotely.
Fact: During the lockdown, many employees thought that POSH Act doesn’t get applicable if employees work from home. Under the Act, “workplace” has been defined as which means establishments, enterprises, institutions, offices, branches, premises, locations or units established, owned, controlled by the Company or places visited by the employees out of or during employment including accommodation, transportation provided by the employer for undertaking such journey.
Here the critical point is when employees work from home, they carry out their work and have official interactions. According to POSH Act, this makes “home” a workplace. So, POSH Act applies to remote workplaces as much as it applies when employees work from the office.
“The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013” is a landmark step against the Sexual Harassment of women at the workplace in India’s fight. Unfortunately, few organisations consider it as a cost and feel no need to implement it effectively. If implemented correctly, it helps create a dignified workplace and create an inclusive culture.