End Sexual Harassment Toolbox

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The Sexual Harassment Act, 2013, which was passed to replace the Vishaka guidelines, imposes serious obligations on employers. Every organization where more than 10 people work is required to create sexual harassment policies, constitute complaints committees and perform numerous other compliances. Non-compliance can result in a fine of INR 50,000 or even shutting down of the business.

The End Sexual Harassment toolbox is a makes compliance extremely simple for employers and HR, and enables effective sensitization of the employees. HR can create customized policies, set up internal complaints committees and undertake capacity-building of the committee members with the help of the toolbox, and empower employees with a sensitization toolkit. Learning and progress can be monitored through a testing and certification system. It has been prepared after extensive discussions and help of several women's rights and business lawyers in India.

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End Sexual Harassment Toolbox

  1. 1. End Sexual Harassment Toolkit A simplified method to comply with the new anti-sexual harassment law
  2. 2. Sexual Harassment Law, 2013 • New law enacted replacing the Vishakha guidelines • Every branch/office/NGO/School or any place employing more than 10 people has to comply • Fine for non-compliance: INR 50,000 • Repeated violations can lead to shutting down of organization
  3. 3. Key areas to ensure compliance Creation of ICC - Internal complaints committee Sensitization of employees Capacity-building of Internal Complaint Committee members Statutory Compliance – policy, notice, annual reports
  4. 4. To make all compliances very easy • We have created a toolbox which is accessible on mobile and web • End Sexual Harassment Toolbox = handbook for HR + handbook for employees + training and testing for employees + training for internal complaints committee members + checklists + every tool you need to comply with laws
  5. 5. What do employees get? • Under the law, the employer is obligated to train the employees about Anti-Sexual Harassment Law • Training Modules created by top legal women’s rights and business lawyers in India, including easy to understand videos and text material • In English and Hindi, on mobile and computer screen • They save a lot of time compared to attending seminars.
  6. 6. • Employees learn about anti-sexual harassment law and company policy • They will attempt a test so that we can verify if they actually learned what they need to know • A certificate will be generated when they pass the test • They can now print out the certificate and submit it to a manager/HR
  7. 7. Benefit to Employers from Testing • You can track which employees are not learning, not taking or failing the test. • The certificate acts as legal proof that employees has been sensitized effectively • Employees can not claim ignorance of the policy later • Employees can access it whenever in doubt! It is an app inside their mobile.
  8. 8. Manager/ HR can use the toolbox to: Create a sexual harassment policy using a ready- made, customizable template Set up an internal complaint committee Get templates of statutory notices, employment contract, order, settlement agreement, complaint format, gender neutral versions, interim orders Use our checklist which we keep updating to ensure that the company is compliant to laws at all time Easily accomplish all reporting and annual filing
  9. 9. What does the Internal Complaints Committee get? • Capacity building training • A guide book which is always available • How to conduct investigation? • How to follow the principles of natural justice, as the law requires? • How to consider evidence submitted by both parties? • Samples and templates of everything they need - for issuing orders, notices etc.
  10. 10. Customization • We can even customize the toolbox for you – and add other policies you want to teach the employees in your organisation Such as – whistleblower policy, code of conduct, other workplace related harassment • Employees can access the training anytime, on the go – from their mobile
  11. 11. Experts who have helped us in building this Dr. Ranjana Kaul Formerly with Delhi Commission of Women and counsel for Maharashtra Government at Supreme Court Sunila Awasthi Corporate lawyer who has worked on sexual harassment issues for over a decade (partner at AZB) Prof. (Dr.) Mrinal Satish was on the Verma Committee and worked on gender- sensitization for judges at the National Judicial Academy Sonal Mattoo Helping Hands Shwetasree Majumder Founder, Fidus Law Chambers (was on Verma Committee Panel) We also thank Advocate ANISHA BANERJI, who has been practising at the Delhi High Court for about 17 years, who has provided valuable inputs in the preparation of the sample documents, policies, notices and drafts.
  12. 12. Lets discuss Specific Details of Compliance
  13. 13. 1 - Creation of ICC (including appointment of external members) An organization needs to constitute an ICC at every office, branch where more than 10 people (including part-time workers, interns, apprentices) work. Under the law, multiple ICCs may be required to be constituted, depending on the number of locations where more than 10 people work. - Having very few or no women workers is no exception. - Lack of prior sexual harassment instances is also not an exception.
  14. 14. Identification of external members for ICC and ensuring their participation in proceedings is extremely difficult, especially across multiple locations. (There is a huge scarcity of persons who have necessary expertise on women’s and who also appreciate organizational structure and objectives) The toolbox provides: Mechanisms for simplifying creation of multiple ICCs and participation of external members in those committees A reference list of experts who may be contacted
  15. 15. Employers are under a duty to train the committee. Improper decisions can expose employers to litigation. Capacity building on the following is essential for good decision-making. 2 - Capacity building What procedure should be followed in deciding a case? What are the powers of the committee? What remedies can it award? What criteria should be kept in mind while awarding a relief? How should the committee detect complaints which are not genuine? How can the risk of false complaints be minimized? What are the best-practices for good decision-making?
  16. 16. The toolbox provides detailed guidance on: Decision-making procedures, timelines How to decide complaints and take evidence Identification of false complaints Powers of the committee Sample formats of summons, interim orders, decisions What can be done if the defendant does not obey the summons Case studies
  17. 17. 3 - Compliance requirements The law imposes numerous compliance obligations on employers, such as: • Creation of anti-sexual harassment policies • Display of notices at the workplace • Filing annual reports • Incorporating clauses in employment contracts The toolkit contains sample formats for reports, notices, policies, complaints, numerous checklists, employment contract clauses.
  18. 18. Snapshots of sample policies, checklists and reports
  19. 19. (Effective) Sensitization Employers are under a duty to sensitize employees. Participation in workshops held by corporate trainers and consultants may not be adequate to sensitize employees. Often, employee participation and engagement is extremely weak. Retention is for a short period. At the time of facing a real situation, they need a quick refresher. Enactment of a formal statute against sexual harassment has made the nature of the training more technical – trainers may not always have the necessary skillsets. Handbooks are often not read or understood by employees. Declaration forms stating that the policy has been read may have been signed without actually comprehending its true meaning. What if there is a simpler alternative? What if employees can be given a tool that can be accessed by them any time and from any location?
  20. 20. The ESH Advantage Sensitization kit with detailed video training, text and flowcharts on: - What constitutes sexual harassment - What does not constitute sexual harassment - Steps to be taken in case one faces sexual harassment - Options if sexual harassment occurs in an interaction with a third-party, a client representative or at another employer’s premises, at an office party, parking lot, etc. (with 24 x 7 access over web and mobile devices from any location) Test + Certification for employees who clear the test - HR can require certification as a mandatory prerequisite for performance review
  21. 21. Employees are sceptical about interaction with women colleagues due to the risk of abuse of the law by unscrupulous employees and the serious repercussions of this on their career. HR managers are concerned about sentiments of male employees and a ‘suspicious’ environment at the workplace. An obstacle to sensitization… How can the balance be restored? Inclusivity and ‘on-boarding’ of male employees is crucial for effective sensitization.
  22. 22. The toolbox provides: Gender-neutral framework that can be implemented by organizations to protect male employees as well, guides for men on what to do if they face sexual harassment at workplace Do’s and don’ts for men to minimize risk of sexual harassment complaints Guides on how to respond to malicious complaints Hindi version is available for sensitization of staff
  23. 23. Hindi version screenshots
  24. 24. End Sexual Harassment Advantage - Summary Capacity building • Training material for decision- making • Gender-neutral implementation guides • How to detect false complaints • Case studies • Doubt-clearing with the help of experts • Sample decisions, orders and summons and agreement drafts Sensitization • Highly simplified and engaging video training • Sensitization materials accessible 24 x 7 on web and android • Practice questions • Certification for sensitized employees • Hindi version available on request Compliance • Training material • Sample reports • Notices • Employment clauses • Checklists and flowcharts for ready reference
  25. 25. Other value-additions State governments are expected to pass state-specific rules. The toolbox will be updated with the latest developments through the year. Doubt-clearance with experts Situational examples and case studies, with more real-life case-studies and simulations to be created as the law is implemented by different organizations periodically. Hindi version for sensitization is available Gender-neutral version framework may be implemented by organizations for better work environment
  26. 26. Screenshots – web version Android
  27. 27. Endorsed by industry bodies to their members

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