23% of organizations are not fully compliant with the PoSH Act.
In spite of the strict legal implications and the seriousness of the issue almost a quarter of the organizations in the country are not complying with the PoSH Act to the full effect….What may be the reason?
Is it a lack of awareness amongst the organisations or key stakeholders? Perhaps….
But in my opinion, It’s the trivialization of the need and urgency to comply with PoSH Act of 2013 as well as not following the law in spirit and just implementing it for the sake of it. It’s high time that organisations give it due importance and ensure that the Act is implemented in spirit or otherwise face the various consequences. But what are the real consequences of not complying with the Act?
1. Non-compliance can cost an employer a monetary penalty
An employer can be subjected to a penalty of up to INR 50,000 for-
1.1 Failure to constitute an Internal Complaints Committee
1.2 Failure to act upon recommendations of the Complaints Committee
1.3 Failure to file an annual report with the District Officer where required
2. Repeated breach of the Act can lead to cancellation of business license
Where employers repeat a breach under the Act, they shall be subject to-
2.1 Cancellation/Withdrawal/Non-renewal of registration/license required for carrying on business or activities
2.2 Twice the punishment or higher punishment if prescribed under any other law for the same offense
3.Other monetary damages
When the aggrieved party drags the matter into the court and if the organisation is not POSH compliant, courts can take strict actions against such companies. Here is a link to the incident when the Madras High Court directed Chennai-based IT firm to pay Rs 1.68 crore as damages on account of sexual harassment to an aggrieved woman.
4.Damage to the reputation
Sexual harassment against women at the workplace can lead to serious, severe and permanent damage to the reputation and goodwill of the organization. Let’s not forget the infamous Uber sexual harassment incident that shocked the corporate world and damaged the reputation of the company.
These are the 4 serious consequences of not complying with the PoSH Act. While the companies should understand the consequences, it is very important to ensure that the employees are well aware of their legal rights under the PoSH Act 2013. This calls for the urgent need to train the employees on the PoSH Act and create awareness among them. Hence, here is our scenario-based award-winning e-learning developed on Prevention of Sexual Harassment against Women at Workplace. This scenario-based e-learning module delivers an engaging and interactive learning experience to train and build awareness among the employees on the PoSH Act. Feel free to share your suggestions and recommendations using the comment box below.