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Increased number of Sexual Harassment Complaints a positive development

For the fiscal year 2019, over 741 sexual harassment complaints have been received by Nifty 50 companies.

In order to ensure safe workplaces for women in the private sector, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has amended the Companies (Accounts) Rules, 2014, issued under Section-134 of the Companies Act, by inserting a rule 8(5)(x) as follows:-

“A statement that the Company has complied with provisions relating to the constitution of Internal Complaints Committee under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013”.(“POSH”)

The number of cases reported by companies has jumped from 14 percent in FY19 as compared to 3 percent in FY18. Experts claim that this increase in reporting of complaints can be attributed to increase in awareness, mandatory training sessions, elaborate investigation and zero-tolerance policy followed by companies.

Complaints have grown at a annual growth rate of 15 percent in the past five fiscal years.
In FY15 there were 21 firms who did not receive a single harassment complaint. This year the number has dropped to 8. Five nifty companies – Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Finance, Grasim Industries, JSW Steel and UltraTech — have reported receiving harassment complaints for the first time in the past five years.

The big IT companies like Wipro, Infosys, and Tata Consultancy Services has reported 142, 105 and 87 cases of sexual harassment at workplace respectively. The spokesperson of Wipro said that the number of complaints in 170000 employees reflects positively on the company’s corporate culture. It reflects increasing awareness as well as greater conviction in the organisation process. The spokesperson said, “robustness of the system allows employees to share their concerns confidentially, assured of a fair and just hearing, and without fear of retribution. Each case has its own context, and is addressed with full due diligence, confidentiality, neutrality, sensitivity and after assuring the employee of a safe workplace.”

Get in touch with GenderLegaL team at 9561852500/ 8407816842 or write to us at mail@genderlegal.com to conduct trainings/seminars at your organization to create awareness about Sexual Harassment and/or to comply with the provisions of the POSH act.

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