The concept of sexual harassment goes way down the history of mankind. However, it only obtained attention and importance in recent times due to movements like #metoo. Till 1997, there were no official guidelines to deal with the subject, thereafter, in 2013, the central government has enacted the law to protect women against this offense. The law is known as the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act or PoSH Act. In this blog, we will understand how to conduct PoSH training. However, before learning about the online PoSH training procedure, we should be aware of what is sexual harassment at the workplace?
Sexual harassment refers to any form of unwelcome behavior considered offensive, humiliation, or intimidating. The most effective ways to create a workspace free from sexual harassment is to spread awareness among all employees. They must be taught the legal implications of this offense. Also, Training, instructional signs, and policy handbooks can be used for this.
The PoSH Act, 2013 has prevailed to a certain degree in creating a safe environment for women at the workplace. This was achieved by putting up with remedial measures against such an offense. Some of the common measures were, organizing workshops, training, legal restriction, disciplinary action, and criminal action.
What is a malicious complaint?
It is an offense to lodge a complaint when both parties have mutually consented to the flirtatious exchange of messages. A complaint can be registered only when one of the parties had rejected all the attempts of the other party to make advances. These advances include repeatedly asking for a personal relationship, inappropriate touching, or using obscene language, etc.
How to Set Up PoSH Training?
To set up a PoSH training, firstly create a mobile-based training module. The content will be designed usually in the form of a short module for ease of learning. It should define the types of harassment acts that can create a hostile work environment. Acts of harassment could be verbal, visual, physical, psychological, or quid pro quo type. The PoSH training module must also define what kind of behaviour at the workplace doesn’t constitute workplace sexual harassment. This will help in decreasing the number of false cases.
A training module can illustrate scenarios through animated content that helps the employees to understand what constitutes sexual harassment. To fulfill the training, add or create a few interesting or interactive quizzes. A detailed analysis report may help in the design of an effective PoSH training module and its efficient delivery. However, At the end of the training, employees should also be given a copy of the complaint redressal form.
Many women do not understand their rights under the PoSH act. And thus, they do not report any incidence which doesn’t involve physical touching or behaviour. However, one could be the victim of sexual harassment or abuse in the workplace even if someone is giving them a discomforting look or gesture, or uses inappropriate words. The training sessions will help these women understand their rights.
What is this Redressal Mechanism Mean?
Why Women Don’t Report?
Most people keep quiet because of shame, denial, fear. The common reasons women tend to keep quiet could be:
1. Fear of losing the job
2. Denial of promotion
3. Losing credibility
4. Rejected in the industry.
The poSH act requires it to be confidential. However, any unwanted misconduct that happened with anyone, should be reported.
The process to File the Complaint
- File a formal complaint with the internal committee.
- All the details required in the complaint.
- The internal committee will investigate the complaint to resolve the case.
- The inquiry will begin and may take several meetings with the complainant, respondent, and witness for up to sixty days.
- An investigation report will created and shared with: The HR, respective managers, and BU head.
- If an allegation is false, the internal committee may recommend the employer to take action as per service rules applicable against the party.
- Strict actions will be taken against those discussing any facts about the case to anyone besides the internal committee.
- Any discussion or complaint with internal committee members is strictly confidential.
Here are the three-point formulae women can follow to identify inappropriate behaviour.
What referred to be as a green zone?
Performance counseling and encouragement, social interaction, friendly conversation.
What actions come in the yellow zone?
Violating personal space, questions about personal life.
What actions should raise the red flag?
Whistling, leering, staring and using foul language, suggestive touching sitting, or gesturing, repeated requests for dates, off-color jokes, asking sexual favors in return for employee rewards, threats, showing sexually pictures or emails, or sexual assault.
The Green Zone is the safe zone. In the yellow zone, one can talk directly to the person about such behavior and tell them to avoid it. However, Anything that falls in the red area is liable for a complaint.