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The Posh Policy


  • Spread the awareness,Make the work environment a better place. 


Societal Fact Alert! 

We live in a gendered society. Today one of the major concerns stand to be sexual harrasment of women in their workplaces. In Fact this poignant issue came to light in an elaborate manner and gained massive significance with the popular “#MeToo ” Movement. The term, “Me Too” was first exercised under this context in the year 2006, by Tarana Burke on MySpace (social media platform). She is a social activist and had survived sexual assault, herself. Since the phrase was used in social media, it attained a global audience. In 2017, Alyssa Milano made it a hastag which was an ongoing trend on Twitter and uplift women into revealing their experiences with sexual harrasment especially in their workplaces. This would make women feel accompanied and they would choose to speak up about it. 


Subsequently talking particularly about India, the “#MeToo” Movement particularly hit the Bollywood industry. Many women called out prominent actors, directors journalists and others alleging sexual harrasment. On this, the court asserted that the production units of the film crew must form a joint committee in order to  take definitive actions against such allegations. They were also strictly asked to act as per the POSH Act which was established in 2013. The POSH Act was refered to as the prevention of sexual harassment which was passed by the government in 2013. 


Even though the POSH Act was established in the year 2013, the majority of the people of the society today are clearly unaware of the Act and it’s significance. The POSH Act vividly describes sexual harrasment and outlines methods to lodge a complain and an inquiry of the action with the purpose of procuring justice. 

The Act expanded on the Vishakha guidelines that were created in 1997. It imposed on each and every company, three legally binding  key components that needed to be followed. These components were “prohibition, prevention, and redress” However, these laws are still not fully understood or carried out in many organisations. 




The 2013 Act released a handbook which gave detailed conditions to what constitutes sexual harrasment. 

  • Inappropriate intimidating physical advances.
  • Commanding or calling in sexual favours.
  • Any verbal or non-verbal action of sexual nature. 
  • Displaying pornography or pornographic content in any form. 
  • Making remarks which are sexually coloured or sexually abusive towards the employee. 

If any of the above conditions were meted out, directly or indirectly, the law would actively categorise it as sexual harrasment and would accept all complaints in adherence to the rules of the policy. 


Let us make an attempt to understand how the POSH Act works and what procedures have been laid out in lieu of it. 

The fundamental step for every employer was to form an “Internal Complaints Committee (ICC)”. It is the most significant wing of the POSH Act implementation process. The term of an Internal Complaint Committee is three years. 

The statutory definitions of the various forms of sexual harrasment are given. It gives the woman a choice, wherein she can choose to register a complaint or not. However, the law specifies that  the complaint can only “within three months from the date of the incident”,can the complaint be lodged. Although the ICC could “extend time limit”, if they deem that circumstances dictated an inability for the victim to have complained. 




Let us look at the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) as a body. The ICC, which consists of more than 10 employees, must have three types of members. 

  • Presiding Officer:- Every committee must have a head. Thus the criteria for chairperson of this committee is that, it must be a senior female employee of the company which will make things more comprehensible and easily approachable for the complainee. 
  • Employee Member:- There must be significant representation from the company as well. So at least two members with an intermediate knowledge of the law,  preferably well aware and actively involved in the causes and problems faced by women. 
  • External Member:- External Representation is extremely necessary along with internal presence. The External Member must possess an in-depth insight into the concept of sexual harrasment from a humanitarian and non-government perspective. 

The role of an external member is to maintain an unbiased procedure during an inquiry. An external member must attend regular meetings with the Internal Complaints Committee and jot down the Minutes of the meeting. He/She must ensure than all rules and regulations in compliance to law is being followed. The External Member must aid the Internal Complaints Committee to follow all the protocols. He/ She must remain impartial and contribute to the organization by trying to prevent sexual harrasment in the workplace environment. 




A sexual harrasment complaint can be registered by a woman, “of any age whether employed or not.” Once registered, the procedure runs as follows:-

  • The Internal Complaints Committee must look into the matter urgently. If requested by the victim, the ICC can “at the request of the aggrieved woman, take steps to settle the matter between her and the respondent through conciliation” The condition being that there would be no monetary resolution.
  • The Internal Complaints company works more like a civil court where police officers are given to investigate and lead the inquiry. The members of the committee have the authority to question any individual related to the case under the oath. 
  • The inquiry must be wrapped up within 90 days and the report and findings from the inquiry must be provided to the Employer within 10 days in time. The development of the case must be made aware to both the parties. However during this process, the identity of the woman along with the witnesses and actions taken on particular instances must be concealed and not make public




  • If the accusations are proven to be true, then action must be taken by the Employer, “in accordance with the provisions of the service rules”. The salary amount of the guilty can be reduced as per appropriate. 
  • The individual woman in concern must be well compensated for her emotional distress along with her medical expenses if necessary. Whatever opportunities that were lost by her must also be made up. 




” Every coin has two sides” and so does this policy. If the accusations are deemed to be untrue/ containing false evidence then the law demands action to be taken against the accuser “in accordance with the provisions of the service rules”. However it also facilitates that action cannot be pushed against an individual on the basis of inability to gather evidence or substantiate the claim. 


A major part of our society still remains unaware of laws that are issued in the better interests of citizens. The POSH POLICY was perpetrated in 2013 and many of us are still not fully acquainted with the procedures. Many women have not reached out when they needed to and they must be made aware of the help that the laws entail for them.  

With the technological advancement of society we are being thrown off course on the matters of humanity. In workplaces we are concerned with increasing productivity but forget to maintain etiquettes and courtesies which make our colleagues feel comfortable in our presence. This in turn causes degradation in the quality of work and thus reduces productivity. Hence we must work towards making the office environment a safe place for all genders. With the employees feeling safe and satisfied, one can ensure the growth of a company. 



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