In today’s date, both male and female, everyone is capable of matching with the job expectations, although it is very unfortunate to state that women are more vulnerable to suffer from sexual harassment at the workplace. After the Visakha case, the Honorable Apex Court incorporated the Visakha guidelines making it compulsory for organizations, may it be public or private sector, to initiate a mechanism for redressal of sexual harassment complaints. In order to safeguard the working women at their workplace, Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act was enacted in the year 2013 with a motive to provide protection against sexual harassment against women at the workplace and for the prevention and redressal of complaints of sexual harassment and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) training has been made mandatory in India since 2013 when the act was enacted. As per the act, any such organization or company having employed more than ten employees should have compulsory POSH training for all their employees and employers.
About POSH Training
With regards to ensuring that the employees can easily distinguish between what is correct and incorrect behavior from anyone at their workplace, POSH training is necessary to figure it out. However, this act is also extremely helpful for the female employees who face sexual harassment in workplaces. The main motive of the POSH act is to educate and learn the employees about the law that governs sexual harassment and thereby prevent any such occurrence in future.
Why is the training necessary?
POSH training is not only for the victims but also for people who can be the culprits. It not only helps the employees to ask for justice but also helps them to save themselves if charged wrongfully. In a nutshell, POSH training is necessary because it helps the employees identify as to which behavior is not acceptable in the workplace. When the employee of a company cossets in sexual harassment, the employer under whom they would be working will be charged accountable for the same. It is always beneficial and helpful to give harassment training, make anti-harassment policies, and create a no tolerance workspace instead of defending oneself in a lawsuit.
Why is POSH Training compulsory for employees?
There are various reasons as to why is POSH training compulsory for employees, especially throwing light on women. The reason is as follows:
Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act enacted in the year 2013 made it compulsory for every employer u/s 4 of the Act every employer having more than ten employees in the organization to form an Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) and to give POSH training to the employees in order to create awareness about POSH and understanding one’s rights and legal provisions if any mishaps occur to them or to someone they know. Section 26 of the Act describes the penalty of Rs, 50,000 to be imposed on the employer if he stalls to act in accordance with the same.
Workshops, seminars, and various other awareness programmes shall be organized on a frequent basis to make the employees aware of what and which type of behaviour falls under sexual harassment. The awareness programme is not only for the women but for every individual who has a job and a position and is working somewhere. The training for the employees should kowtow to the perspectives of sexual harassment, its effect on an individual and the organization and why should it be prevented at a workplace, in order to make sure that the employee is working in a work-friendly environment, free from hostility.
Protect the Company’s Reputation
The fame and honor of the company or organization are at rest if any case or incident of sexual harassment occurs as it hampers the company’s reputation creating a negativity in the work environment.
Steps for effective training
Organizing POSH training requires dynamism as it is not like every other regular training. If the training is not taken place in the proper way, it may create fear and false scenarios in the minds of the male employees and female employees may misinterpret the same as an instrument or weapon to lodge complaints and misuse it for selfish motives.
Every organization and company is different. Each of them varies from each other either by work culture or by ethics. Nonetheless, there are several things that are to be kept in mind for providing POSH training, they are:
- Information and knowledge about the company’s culture.
- Understanding the assortment.
- Acquiring insights on employees’ demographics.
- Asking for clarity in business, workflow, kind of customers etc.
- Being well versed with the structure of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC).
- Knowledge about any standard mail ID or contact number who is currently dealing with POSH related problems.
POSH training is not only necessary but also the need of the hour due to the rise in cases of crimes against women at their workplace. It is necessary to ensure a safe and hostile less work environment for working ladies. Employers must make sure that the employees accountable under them are well versed both mentally and physically about acceptable and unacceptable behavior. In order to make that distinction smoother and easier, POSH training is actually needed.
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