The POSH Act, 2013 typically refers to The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013. This Act is designed to prevent sexual harassment of women at workplaces and create the safe and secure work environment. The Act is applicable to all workplaces, both in the public and private sectors, and covers a wide range of establishments, including offices, factories, shops, and educational institutions.
Here are some key points regarding the applicability of the POSH Act:
Coverage: The Act covers all women, irrespective of their age or employment status, including regular, temporary, or contract employees, as well as interns.
Types of Harassment: It addresses various forms of sexual harassment, including unwelcome physical contact, making sexually colored remarks, showing pornography, and any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.
Employer Responsibility: The Act places the responsibility on the employer to create a safe working environment and prevent sexual harassment. Employers are required to establish Internal Complaints Committees (ICC) at workplaces with 10 or more employees, or they can join with other employers to form a shared ICC.
Complaint Mechanism: The Act mandates the establishment of an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) to inquire into complaints of sexual harassment. If a workplace has fewer than 10 employees or is not covered by the Act for other reasons, the complaint can be filed with the Local Complaints Committee (LCC).
Redressal Mechanism: The Act provides a redressal mechanism for victims of sexual harassment, ensuring a fair and impartial inquiry into complaints. It also outlines the steps that an employer should take in case of a complaint.
Awareness and Training: Employers are required to conduct awareness programs and workshops to sensitize employees about the provisions of the Act. They should also provide training to the ICC members.
Penalties for Non-Compliance: Non-compliance with the POSH Act can lead to penalties, including fines or cancellation of business licenses.
It's important for employers and employees to be aware of the provisions of the POSH Act to ensure a safe and respectful working environment for women. The Act plays a crucial role in promoting gender equality and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.