The Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) at Workplace Act of India mandates every organisation to define their sexual harassment policies, prevention systems, procedures and service rules for its employees. Recent reports claim a rise in the number of cases registered for sexual harassments at the workplaces. Also, the number of women in the corporate world reporting such severe incidents are increasing. Such incidents at the workplace can be strenuous to the employees as well as to the entire organisation.
Actions like these result in undesirable physical and emotional ramifications. It adversely affects the productivity of employees creating an unpleasant atmosphere. Many times, performing regular tasks in the workplace can be difficult. By making sure that all the employees go through a necessary PoSH training which can ensure a safe working environment.
WHAT IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
Any form of discrimination that includes unwelcome attention of sexual nature is considered sexual harassment. It involves a range of behaviours from seemingly mild transgressions and annoyances, to actual sexual abuse or sexual assault. Anyone from either gender can be a victim of sexual harassment, and anybody from either gender can be a perpetrator.
Sexual harassment also includes the conduct of co-workers who engage in verbal or physically harassing behaviour which has the potential to humiliate or embarrass an employee or the company.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT CAN INCLUDE ANY OF THE BELOW-MENTIONED POINTERS:
Sexual advances, requests or demand for sexual favours, either explicitly or implicitly, in return for employment, promotion or examination.
Eve teasing, unwelcome invitations meet outside office, suggestive comments or jokes, physical confinement against one’s will and intruding one’s privacy.
Act or conduct when one's behaviour within a workplace creates an environment that is difficult or uncomfortable for a person belonging to the opposite sex.
Any unsolicited gesture by an employee having sexual hints.
Physical contact and advances.
Demand or request for sexual favours.
Staring, leering or unwelcome touching.
Suggestive comments or jokes.
Undesirable physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.
STEPS YOU MUST TAKE FOR POSH AT WORK:
Dealing upfront with the harasser.
Do not pretend it did not happen.
Immediately inform the alleged harasser that the behaviour is unwelcome.
Demand that the harassment must stop.
Reinforce your statements with a firm tone and professional body language.
Trust your instincts about possible danger.
Discuss it with a close friend or confidant.
Report sexual harassment to the Human Resource department or respective committee.
Be professional always.
Source: TUV SUD blog