Is yours a company that employs 10 or more people? If so, you have to submit an annual POSH compliance report under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013 (“Act”) that provides protection to women against sexual harassment at the workplace.
Your next question might be – ‘Why should one invest time and resources into filing this and why is it so important?’ Well, firstly, because it is the law and therefore, mandatory, and secondly, it might cost you more to skip filing it. Non-compliance can be charged with a penalty of INR. 50,000. Repeated non-compliance is liable for severe penalties and/or risk suspension/ cancellation of the license or registration to work.
So, here are some FAQs we’ve answered to help you with this process and simplify your life!
Who files the Annual report?
Section 21 of the PoSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment) Act makes it mandatory for the Internal Committee (IC) of the organization to prepare and submit an annual report to the employer and the district officer. It should be noted that certain district officers may specify the format of the report that must be filed.
What should be included in the Annual report?
According to Rule 14 of the POSH Act, the following needs to be included in the annual report:
- Number of sexual harassment complaints filed in the year
- Number of complaints disposed-off
- Number of complaints pending resolution for more than ninety days
- Nature of the action(s)taken by the employer
- Number of workshops/awareness programs conducted by the employer to increase awareness about sexual harassment in the workplace.
In addition, the annual report should include information on the formation of Internal Committees for each branch of the organisation.
Where should the report be submitted?
At the end of every calendar year, the Annual Report prepared by the Internal Committee needs to be submitted to the Employer, who in turn, submits it to the District Officer.
How are penalties imposed for non-compliance?
An employer can be subjected to a penalty of up to INR 50,000 for:
- Failure to constitute the Internal Complaints Committee
- Failure to act upon recommendations of the Complaints Committee; or
- Failure to file an annual report to the District Officer where required; or
- Contravening or attempting to contravene or abetting contravention of the Act or Rules.
Employee Awareness and Assistance
When you file your annual report, do include all the information about any seminars or workshops held by your organisation to raise awareness about sexual harassment in the workplace.
When planning to file the annual report for your company, keep all these considerations in mind. The last date to submit your PoSH-related annual report for the period of 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2023 is 31 January 2024.