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Last Updated : Nov 05, 2018 06:12 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

#MeToo impact? India Inc wants training on how to respond to POSH Act complaints on social media

With the MeToo movement bringing out skeletons from many companies' cupboards, India Inc is now looking for guidance on how to respond to these allegations.

M Saraswathy @maamitalks

With the MeToo movement bringing out skeletons from many companies' cupboards, India Inc is now looking for guidance on how to respond to these allegations.

“Once an allegation surfaces on social media platforms, companies want to know as to what is the appropriate response to be given,” says Antony Alex, CEO, Rainmaker. He added that large organisations want to ensure their brand identity is not impacted.

Rainmaker is a Mumbai-based organisation that advises companies on corporate governance, including making the workplace safer for women. It works with 125 companies across the country.

Their core business is creating training programmes for corporate employees in the areas of prevention of sexual harassment. These are done through workshops, video modules. Further, Rainmaker also conducts POSH audits for companies to see if they are following the law and what are the gaps needed to be filled.

Alex added they have been offering guidance to large corporates on how to frame responses when social media allegations against employees crop up. After the series of accusations on Twitter, he added that companies have become more cautious against any allegation.

Rainmaker also organises two-day workshops for Internal Committee (IC) members. “Unlike a court, IC members do not have a legal background. We give them training on how to decide on whether a person is guilty, the quantum of punishment and how to determine guilt in the absence of evidence,” he added.

The law

Companies are guided by the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (POSH) that deals with cases of sexual harassment of women and mandates companies to follow certain protocols for complaints filed.

IC refers to a committee that is mandatory and has to be set by companies under the POSH Act. IC handles cases of sexual harassment filed by women at the workplace and has the powers to pass decisions.

Alex complained that there has been a fundamental difference between small companies and large corporates.

“Smaller companies with an employee strength of even 50 have approached us to help them put an IC in place. Larger companies, on the other hand, want to make the processes tighter,” he added.

With increased awareness about POSH, Alex said that they have had cases of women of filing complaints after attending their workshops.

Apart from IC of companies, women can also approach the Ministry of Women and Child Development to file complaints. Sexual Harassment electronic Box (SHe-Box) is an effort of the government to provide a single window access to every woman to facilitate the registration of complaint related to sexual harassment.
First Published on Nov 5, 2018 06:10 pm
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