Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) Policy

The objective of this policy is to protect the right to work in an environment free from harassing, intimidating or offensive behaviour and in which issues of harassment will be resolved without fear of reprisal.

  1. Definition of Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexually determined behavior such as:
  2. Verbal:
  3. Sexual innuendo and other suggestive comments or questions of a sexual nature, humour and jokes about sex or gender-specific traits, offensive written notes, sexual propositions and unwarranted pressure for dates, insults, threats, unwanted letters, phone calls or interviews which explicitly discuss personal sexual matters, displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures showing pornography, cartoons, gossip regarding one’s sex life.
  4. Non-verbal: Leering, whistling, suggestive or insulting sounds and gestures.
  5. Physical: Touching the body (brushing, patting, pinching), “friendly” arms around the shoulder, actual or attempted sexual assault, actual or attempted rape.
    1. Sexual Favours
    2. Persistent pressure for dates, unwanted sexual advances that condition an association benefit upon an exchange of sexual favours.
    3. It is not permissible to suggest, threaten or imply that failure to accept a request for a date or sexual intimacy will affect an associate’s job prospects.
    4. Offering benefits such as promotions, favourable performance evaluations, favourable assigned duties or shifts, recommendations, or reclassifications in exchange for sexual favors.

General Guidelines

  1. Each associate will maintain an appropriate standard of conduct with his/her colleagues.
  2. Each associate will be personally responsible for adherence to the laid down code of conduct in his/her range of work. The associates will ensure that S(he) does not get involved in any inappropriate act, conduct, conversation, or dealings in his / her official, private and personal spheres.
  3. It is the responsibility of every associates to communicate / report any unacceptable behavior of the kind mentioned in the definition to sexual harassment, initiated towards self or colleagues.
  4. Sufficient precaution will be taken by the Organization to ensure that complete confidentiality is maintained, and no form of discrimination is faced by the associates who have escalated the complaint.
  5. As an organization, we would ensure to arrange awareness programs in this regard in set frequencies as required by the law.

Procedure for Filing Complaints of Sexual Harassment

  1. To redress complaints of sexual harassment, an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) has been formed for holding an enquiry, minimum of 3 members shall be required to be present.
  2. As compliant to the POSH law 2013, HOM India Pvt. Ltd. has appointed a well-known member of NGO who has credible track record on working in prevention of sexual harassment at work place, who shall be an integral part of the Internal complaints committee and shall help in bringing awareness on the issue.
  3. Associates can file a complaint on sexual harassment to any of the members of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC). The complaint can be filed through email or in writing.
  4. Sexually harassed women at the workplace can also file an FIR directly at the police station, under section 509 of Indian Penal Code as a criminal offence – “Outraging the modesty of women. Physically / verbally / gestures / exhibits”. The punishment in such cases is 1 year of imprisonment or fine or both.
  5. Sufficient precaution will be taken by the Organization to ensure that complete confidentiality is maintained and no form of discrimination is faced by the associates who have escalated the complaint.
  6. The Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) will investigate all complaints thoroughly and promptly within 15 days of receipt of complaint, in a free and fair manner. The investigation may include private interviews with the person filing the complaint, the person alleged to have committed the offence and witnesses, if any. The person filing the complaint will be informed of the outcome of the investigation within 30 days from the date of the complaint.
  7. During the course of investigation, the complainant and the defendant can be called separately to ensure freedom of expression and an atmosphere free of intimidation.
  8. If the investigation reveals that Sexual Harassment has been committed, the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) shall have a recommending role and cannot decide the punishment. It will forward its recommendations to the CEO and Directors, who shall decide the Disciplinary Action.
  9. Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) will maintain a complaint register keeping track of complaints received and the process followed.
  10. In third party harassment, i.e. sexual harassment caused by outsiders who are not the associates of HOM India Pvt. Ltd., the Committee will play a role of providing moral support. If a regular complaint is received then action can be taken by informing the police in that area.
  11. If at any stage, after the filing of a complaint and during the proceedings in respect of it under these rules by the Redressal Committee, the aggrieved associates wishes to withdraw the complaints then S(he) shall have the right to withdraw the complaint and the redressal committee shall permit him/ her to withdraw the complaints and if an enquiry has commenced, then the Redressal Committee shall discontinue the enquiry. In case, the complainant wishes to settle the matter at his/her terms with the defendant and the later agrees for the same, then the redressal committee will submit the report accordingly.

Disciplinary Action

  1. If the investigation reveals that Sexual Harassment has been committed by any of HOM India Pvt. Ltd. associates, prompt and appropriate Disciplinary Action will be taken, as decided by the CEO/ Board of Directors of the Organization. Such action(s)- Combination of written warning, reprimand or censure, public/ written apology, transfer, demotion, monetary fine, withholding increments/ promotions, suspension, termination.
  2. If the investigation reveals that the allegations of Sexual Harassment have been false and malicious in nature by the person filing the complaint, the latter will face severe disciplinary action.
  3. If it is brought to the notice of the Redressal Committee or if the Committee is of the opinion that pressure is being brought on the complainant or the witnesses to withdraw their statements or not to proceed with the complaints the committee will record the same and will attract disciplinary action.