Tightening gaps in the existing POSH framework

December 9, 2023 marked ten years since the enforcement of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013, or the “POSH Act”, as we commonly call it, and its corresponding rules. The POSH Act had been passed on the basis of the Vishaka guidelines laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in 1997 in a public interest litigation. While adjudicating cases involving workplace sexual harassment, the Indian judiciary has laid down several precedents to facilitate employers in upholding the letter and spirit of the POSH Act requirements. Multiple Indian companies have adopted robust best practices to ensure that they go beyond the statutory requirements to prevent, redress, and reduce workplace sexual harassment incidents.

As the Hon’ble Supreme Court has aptly observed in the recent case of Aureliano Fernandes vs. State of Goa & Ors. decided on May 12, 2023, although India had made remarkable progress in the implementation of the POSH Act, certain ambiguities still needed to be clarified, rendering it debatable whether the actual intent of the POSH Act had been accomplished. In this article, we attempt to highlight the glaring gaps in the existing statutory framework under the POSH Act, which indicate the necessity for an all-encompassing and meaningful review in the form of a much-needed regulatory overhaul.

Please click here to read the full article by Minu Dwivedi and Rency George published in ET HR World.