The Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) Act, enacted in 2013 in India, aims to address and prevent instances of sexual harassment at the workplace. The legislation places significant responsibilities on employers to foster a safe, inclusive, and respectful work environment. Understanding and implementing the duties mandated by the POSH Act is crucial for employers to ensure the well-being of their employees and compliance with the law.

Who is the employer?

“Any person who is the head of any department, organisation, undertaking establishment, enterprise, institution, office, branch or unit […]” is defined as an employer under Section 2(g) of the POSH Act.

An employer is someone who is “in charge of the management, supervision, and control of the workplace.”

What obligations do employers have under the Act?

In order to prevent workplace sexual harassment, an employer is required by the POSH Act to establish preventive and redressal mechanisms. This includes creating a POSH policy, setting up a POSH Committee, planning training sessions and awareness campaigns, and more.

Duties of Employer under POSH Act

The goal of an employer’s responsibilities under the POSH Act is to give their female employees a safe workplace. To create both a safe and inclusive workplace, it is crucial to take a gender-neutral approach.

  • Constituting the POSH Committee

Employers are required to form POSH Committees in accordance with the POSH Act of 2013. Every company office or branch with ten or more employees should establish a Committee.

The POSH committee’s main goal is to hear complaints about sexual harassment in the workplace and address them.

The employer may also be fined by the court if they disregard the POSH Act, 2013 and fail to form the POSH committee. The Madhya Pradesh High Court fined Medanta Hospital, Indore Rs. 50,000 for failing to form the POSH Committee in Mrs. Arvinder Bagga & Ors. v. Local Complaints Committee, District Indore.

  • Implementing the POSH Committee’s suggestions

The POSH Committee prepares a report and sends it to the employer upon completion of its investigation and inquiry. The POSH Committee’s conclusion from the investigation is included in the report.

It also includes a suggestion for the course of action the employer ought to follow. The employer has sixty days from the date of receipt of the recommendation to take appropriate action.

The POSH committee’s main goal is to hear complaints about sexual harassment in the workplace and address them.

POSH Act Employee Awareness

The POSH Act requires employers to train their staff members in POSH awareness and to inform them of the Act’s provisions. Given that sexual harassment is a delicate subject and that workers need to be aware of what is and is not appropriate in the workplace, POSH awareness is crucial. It is imperative that the POSH training encompasses the following subjects:

  • What constitutes sexual harassment?
  • the declaration that any act of sexual harassment will not be tolerated by the organisation.
  • The policy’s application and scope.
  • The internal committee members’ contact information and the complaint procedure the formal and informal rights and protections afforded to the complainant, respondent, and witnesses in a sexual harassment case comprise the redressal process.
  • Both the employer and the employees bear responsibility for maintaining workplace safety.
  • Both the employer and the employee under the POSH Act.
  • The duties of the Internal Committee and the specifics of its members.
  • Procedure for reporting instances of sexual harassment.
  • penalties for inappropriate behaviour.
  • repercussions for making a fraudulent complaint.
  • The distinction between a false complaint and one that is not supported by evidence.
  • the results of reprisal.
  • obligations for someone who has seen harassment.
  • Employee accountability for stopping sexual harassment within the company.
  • twice the original penalty that was given and/or
  • Revocation of the business licence or refusal to renew it

Submission of Annual Report

Every company with ten or more employees is required by the POSH Act to submit two reports annually:

  • The Annual Report that the Internal Committee provided to the District Officer and Employer.
  • Directors’ Report to the ROC (in the event that the company is a Public or Private Limited Company).

Annual Report to the Employer and District Officer, provided by the Internal Committee

The report should contain the following information:

  • number of reports of sexual harassment that were made during the year.
  • number of complaints that were resolved
  • number of cases that have been open for more than 90 days without a resolution.
  • The type of action(s) that the district officer or the employer took and
  • The number of workshops or awareness campaigns the company has held to raise awareness about sexual harassment in the workplace.


Compliance with the duties outlined in the POSH Act is not only a legal obligation but also a critical step toward creating a work culture that is respectful, safe, and free from harassment. Employers play a pivotal role in fostering an environment where employees can work without fear of harassment, knowing that their concerns will be taken seriously and addressed appropriately. By adhering to the provisions of the POSH Act, employers contribute to building a workplace that promotes dignity, equality, and professional growth for all.

We are a law firm in the name and style of Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate and Associates at Gurugram and Rewari. We are providing litigation support services related to law matters in India, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to provide you with expert legal counsel and representation tailored to your specific needs and concerns.

Written by: Avichal Singhal Adv.

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