With a large urban population working from home, owing to the pandemic, it is expected that the demand for remote work will increase up to 30% by 2030. While employees maybe at home, they continue to operate in a ‘workplace’ and it is time for employers to realise the extension and ensure a safe working environment.
Key highlights of the publication
- Elements of the POSH Act: In India, The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (POSH Act) was enacted in 2013. As per the Act, ‘sexual harassment’ includes any unwelcome sexually tinted behaviour, whether directly or by implication, such as physical contact, making sexually coloured remarks, demand or request for sexual favours.
- Key considerations for relooking at the policy: The POSH policy should clearly articulate a ‘workplace’, which today extends to an employee’s home and should cover employees, clients, vendors and trainees of the organisation. Companies should relook at the policy to include both men and women and clearly articulate how the aggrieved can file a complaint (via e-mail or phone) and provide for a strict timeframe to investigate the same.
- Best practices for a safe working environment: Companies can generate awareness for prevention of sexual harassment by conducting regular trainings and workshops and understanding pulse of employees by organising anonymous surveys. Providing helpline support via phone or e-mail to employees by a third party counsellor and advocating a zero-tolerance policy can also pave way for a safe working environment.