Prevention of Sexual Harassment
Subject and Scope
This policy is framed with an express commitment to prevent sexual harassment and ensure a safe, healthy, fair environment in which everyone is able to work without harassment, discrimination or victimization. This policy applies to all staff members of Hypro Engineers Private Limited, which will hereafter be referred to as “the Company”. This policy will be applicable to all complaints of sexual harassment by a woman employee against another male/female or third gender employee, in either case, irrespective of whether sexual harassment is alleged to have taken place within or outside the premises of the company.
It shall also be applicable to all allegations of sexual harassment made by an outsider woman against the male staff members or made by any women staff members against a third party if the sexual harassment is alleged to have taken place within the premises of the company. This policy extends to all staff members of the company and is deemed to be incorporated in the service conditions of all staff members and comes into effect immediately.
This policy is framed to create and maintain a safe and secure workplace in the company for all women staff members as well as to generate awareness among staff members about zero tolerance to any indecent behavior.
It is the endeavor of the company to ensure a safe, secure and congenial work environment where staff members will deliver their best without any inhibition, threat or fear.
In pursuance of this objective, the Company has evolved a policy for prevention, prohibition and redressal of cases of sexual harassment at the workplace. The approach adopted by the Company is to spread awareness about the causes and consequences of sexual harassment at the workplace and thereby prevent any occurrences. However, in the event of any occurrence, the Company would use this policy to provide a framework for corrective and / or remedial action.c
Throughout these policy guidelines, reference to the following defined terms should be taken as having the following meaning:
- ‘Aggrieved woman’ means a woman of any age whether employed at the company or not, who alleges to have been subjected to any act of sexual harassment by the respondent, as defined in point vi below.
- ‘Staff member’ means a person employed at a company for any work on regular, temporary, ad hoc or daily wage basis either directly or through an agent including contractor, with or without the knowledge of the company, whether for remuneration or not, or working on a voluntary basis or otherwise, whether the terms of the employment are express or implied and includes a co-worker, a contract worker, probationer, trainee, apprentice or called by any other such name.
- ‘Internal complaints committee’(ICC) means a committee as constituted under Section 4.
- ‘Member’ means a member of the ICC
- ‘Presiding officer’ means the person who is nominated by the company to be the presiding officer (Chairperson) of the ICC
- ‘Respondent’ means a person against whom the aggrieved woman has made a complaint
- ‘Sexual Harassment’ refers to unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature at the workplace or outside the workplace that affects a woman staff member adversely. It includes any one or more of the following unwelcome acts or behavior (whether directly or by implication) namely:
- Using email or internet for the purpose of making abusive or offensive remarks related to pornography or inflammatory literature or
- Unwelcome sexual advances, requests or demand for sexual favors, either explicitly or implicitly, in return for employment, promotion, examination or evaluation of a person towards any company activity or
- Unwelcome sexual advances involving verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct such as sexually colored remarks, jokes, letters, phone calls, e-mail, gestures, lurid stares, physical contact or
- Molestation, stalking, sounds, display of pictures, signs, verbal or non-verbal communication which offends the individuals sensibilities and affect her/his performance or
- Eve teasing, innuendos and taunts, physical confinement against one’s will and likely to intrude upon one’s privacy or
- Act or conduct by a person in authority which creates the environment at workplace hostile or intimidating to a person belonging to the other sex;
- Conduct of such an act at workplace or outside in relation to staff member of the company, or vice versa during the course of employment;
- Any unwelcome gesture by a staff member having sexual overtones
The following circumstances, among other circumstances, if it occurs or is present in relation to or connected with any act of behavior of sexual harassment may amount to sexual harassment:
- Implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in woman staff member’s employment or
- Implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment in woman staff member’s employment or
- Implied or explicit threat about woman staff member’s present or future employment status or
- Interference with woman staff member’s work or creating an intimidating or offensive or hostile work environment for woman staff member or
- Humiliating treatment likely to affect woman staff member’s health or safety
- Workplace means the entire premises of the company and surrounding area where work-related activities take place. It also includes social gatherings organized by company and any place officially visited by the staff member arising out of or during the course of association with the company including transportation provided by the company
- Victimization shall be understood to mean any adverse action by an individual, group of individuals or organization against individuals because they have, in good faith, reported instances of sexual harassment or participated in or has been witnesses to proceedings to redress an alleged instance of sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment of any kind is unacceptable behavior that the company will not tolerate. Every staff member has a fundamental right to live with dignity. Appropriate disciplinary action, which may include dismissal or legal action, will be taken against any staff member who contravenes these guidelines. The company will not tolerate retaliation against or victimization of any Aggrieved woman involved in making or investigating a complaint of sexual harassment under these guidelines. Any such retaliation or victimization by a staff member will itself constitute a disciplinary offence, which may in appropriate circumstances lead to dismissal.
In case the staff member faces any such harassment during official visits and/or social interactions on behalf of the company by the respondent who is not a staff member of the company, in such cases, the Aggrieved woman can bring it to the notice of the Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) and seek help in taking appropriate action in filing a case against the Respondent. The ICC may also in such cases, deem it fit to inform the Respondent’s company about the harassment and request them to take action against the Respondent.
Prevention of Sexual Harassment
- Sexual harassment should be affirmatively discussed at workers’ meetings, employer-employee meetings, etc.
- Guidelines should be prominently displayed to create awareness, especially about the rights of women employees.
- The employer should assist persons affected in cases of sexual harassment by outsiders.
- Training of the members of the committee shall be conducted to make them well versed with this policy and other constitutional provisions relating to the subject matter of this policy names and contact numbers of members of the ICC must be prominently displayed.
Constitution of Internal Complaints Committee (ICC)
An internal complaints committee henceforth referred to as ICC has been set up by the company and will address all cases/complaints of sexual harassment submitted by aggrieved woman. The ICC members are nominated by the company management and shall consist of not less than four members, majority of which will be women and the presiding officer shall be a woman employed at a senior level in the Company. The committee will include an NGO/individual familiar with the issue of sexual harassment.
The committee shall be neutral and unbiased. The complaints procedure must be time-bound. They shall personally look into the matter and maintain confidentiality. Complainants/witnesses will not experience victimization/discrimination during the process. The committee would treat the aggrieved woman with respect and counsel her if required, to help her gain her self-respect.
Members of ICC
As per Annexure I
Power and Duties of ICC
- Implementation of this policy and regularly review the effectiveness of the policy.
- Formulate strategies for spreading awareness of the present policy among all the staff members.
- Delegate responsibilities to appropriate persons to undertake periodic surveys among women staff members to find out the extent of the problem and prevailing attitudes to all aspects of sexual harassment.
- Identify and monitor support structures provided by the company to the Aggrieved woman
- Organize regular sensitization workshops for all the staff members.
- Assist the victim throughout the process of inquiry.
- Ensure that victims and witnesses are not victimized or discriminated because of their complaint.
- Perform all such duties as may be conferred or imposed on her/him by or under this policy to address the issues of parties concerned.
- ICC shall prepare an annual report of all activities undertaken and submit the same to the Managing Director/Director which shall be available to anyone on request.
Role of ICC
ICC shall perform the following functions under this policy:
- Act as a counselor
- Act as a mediator
- Be the receiver of the formal request for inquiry, which may be the first step towards approaching the inquiry mechanism under this policy.
In discharging any/all of the functions mentioned above, the ICC shall:
- Act as a first known point of contact
- Assist in clarifying the nature of the concern
- Give information on options and possible outcomes available under this policy
- Explore possible strategies/options available in resolving the situation
- Assist in drafting and filing of a formal request for inquiry
- Explore strategies to safeguard against victimization
- Support the Aggrieved party throughout any stage of the resolution process
- Provide information on the desirability of maintaining confidentiality
- Provide information on other relevant internal/external remedies, and any limitation periods that may apply to such remedies
- Whether or not a person files a formal request for inquiry, provide supportive counseling as needed
- Make recommendations to the employer of action to be taken in cases of sexual harassment
Removal/disqualification of the presiding officer or member of the ICC
The Presiding Officer or any Member of the ICC shall be removed / disqualified immediately from the aforesaid position, in case the person:
- Contravenes the provisions of these guidelines or
- Has been convicted for an offence or an inquiry into an offence under any law for the time being in force is pending against him/her; or
- Has been found guilty in any disciplinary proceedings or a disciplinary proceeding is pending against him/her
- The vacancy so created shall be filled by fresh nomination in accordance with provisions of these guidelines
Procedure for filing complaint
The company recognizes the right of any aggrieved woman to judge whether the words or behavior of others is acceptable and bring a complaint in respect of Sexual Harassment. If an aggrieved woman experiences or witnesses sexual harassment in the workplace, she should report to the Internal Committee through one the following channels:
- Verbally inform any ICC member, followed by a written statement. Please refer to Annexure II for Written Complaint format.
- Inform her immediate supervisor.
Any complaint received by ICC shall be immediately reported to the Director/Managing Director. An aggrieved woman may make a complaint in writing, of sexual harassment at workplace to the ICC within a period of 3 months from the date of incident and in case of series of incidents, within a period of 3 months from the date of the last incident.
In case if the complaint cannot be made in writing, the presiding officer or any member of the ICC shall render all reasonable assistance to the aggrieved woman for making the complaint in writing.
If the ICC is satisfied that circumstances were such that it prevented the aggrieved woman from filing a complaint, it may extend the time limit for filing a complaint not exceeding 3 months subject to reasons recorded in writing. Where aggrieved woman is unable to make a complaint on account of her physical or mental capacity; death or otherwise, her legal heir or any other person can make a complaint under this section. In addition to any incidents that take place in the company workplaces, staff members will also be assisted in dealing with third party harassment.
Prior to initiating an inquiry, at the request of the aggrieved woman, the ICC shall take steps to settle the matter between her and the respondent through conciliation. However no monetary settlement shall be made as a basis of conciliation.
Where settlement after the conciliation is arrived at, the ICC shall record the settlement so arrived and forward the same to the Managing Director as specified in the recommendation. No further inquiries shall be conducted and copies of the settlement will be provided to the aggrieved woman and respondent. Further, if any condition of the settlement has not been complied with by the Respondent, the Aggrieved woman can go back to the ICC who will proceed to make an inquiry.
The ICC, where the respondent is an employee, shall proceed to make inquiry into the complaint in accordance with the company’s Code of Conduct and other policies. For the purpose of making an inquiry, the ICC has been vested with power in relation to the following matters, namely:
- Summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining her/him under oath;
- Requiring the discovery and production of documents and
- Any other matter which may be prescribed
During the course of the inquiry, both parties will be given an opportunity of being heard and a copy of the findings will be given to both parties enabling them to make representation against findings before the management. The inquiry is required to be completed within a time period of 90 days.
Manner of inquiry into the complaint
- Complainant to submit six copies of the complaint to the ICC along with supporting documents and names and address of witness
- On receipt of the complaint the ICC shall send one copy to the Respondent within a period of seven working days
- The Respondent shall file his reply to the complaint along with his list of documents and names and address of witness within 10 working days from receipt of the copy of the complaint
- ICC shall make inquiry into the complaint in accordance with the principle of natural justice
- The ICC shall have the right to terminate the inquiry or give an exparte decision on the complaint if the complainant or respondent fail without sufficient cause to present for three consecutive hearing convened by the committee. Provided that such termination or exparte order may not be passed without giving a notice in writing, fifteen days in advance to the party concerned.
- The parties shall not be allowed to bring in any legal practitioner to represent them in their case at any state of the proceeding before the ICC
- A minimum of three members of the ICC including the presiding officer shall be present while conducting the inquiry.
On completion of the inquiry the report is to be sent to the Managing Director within a period of 10 days from the date of completion of the inquiry. Such report is to be made available to the concerned parties enabling them to make representation against the findings before the Managing Director or any other Committee as the case may be. On receiving the report, it is mandated to take action on the report within 60 days.
During pendency of an inquiry, on a written request made by the Aggrieved woman, the ICC may recommend to the HR Head to:
- Transfer the aggrieved woman to other work place
- Grant leave to the aggrieved woman up to a period of three months. This leave will be in addition to the leave the person may be entitled to
- Grant such other relief to the aggrieved woman
On completion of the inquiry, where the ICC arrives at the conclusion that the allegation against the respondent has been proved, it shall recommend to the Managing Director:
- To take action for sexual harassment as mis-conduct in accordance with the Company’s Code of Conduct
- To deduct from the salary of the respondent such sum as it may consider appropriate to be paid to the aggrieved woman or to her legal heirs as it may determine.
If the company is unable to make such a deduction from the salary of the respondent due to him being absent from duty or cessation from employment it may direct the respondent to pay such a sum to the aggrieved woman. If the respondent further fails to pay the sum referred therein, ICC may forward the order for the recovery of the sum referred herein to the authority as nominated by any appropriate Government body.
The ICC may recommend any or a combination of the following penalties for sexual harassment or unwelcome sexual conduct:
- Warning, reprimand or censure
- Written apology by the Respondent
- Withholding increments and promotions
Where an alleged instance of sexual harassment amounts to a specific cognizable offence under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, or any other law; the company may in addition to the proceedings under this Policy, initiate appropriate proceedings in accordance with the law by making a complaint with the appropriate authorities.
Where an alleged instance of sexual harassment amounts to misconduct in employment as defined by the relevant service rules; appropriate disciplinary action shall be initiated by the company in accordance with those rules.
Where the ICC arrives at a conclusion that the allegation against the respondent is malicious or the aggrieved woman had made a complaint knowing it to be false, or has produced any forged or misleading document, it may recommend to the Managing Director to take action against the person who has made the complaint.
Mere inability to substantiate a complaint or provide adequate proof need not attract any action against the aggrieved woman under this section. In case a malicious intent on part of the aggrieved woman is established after an inquiry then in accordance with the procedure prescribed in this policy, suitable action will be recommended as per Inquiry Report.
For the purpose of determining the sums to be paid to the Aggrieved woman, the ICC shall have to regard:
- The mental trauma, pain, suffering and emotional distress caused to the aggrieved woman
- The loss in career opportunity due to the incident of sexual harassment
- Medical expenses incurred by the victim for physical or psychiatric treatment
- The income and financial status of Respondent
- Feasibility of such payment in lump sum or in installments
The contents of the complaint, identity and addresses of the aggrieved woman; respondent and witnesses, any information relating to conciliation and inquiry proceedings, recommendations of the ICC and the action taken by the company under these guidelines shall be done in utmost confidentiality.
However the information may be disseminated regarding justice secured to any victim of sexual harassment under these guidelines without disclosing the name, address, identity or any other particulars calculated to lead to the identification of the aggrieved woman and or witnesses. Any breach in confidentiality will result in disciplinary action being taken.
Protection against Retaliation
Regardless of the outcome of the complaint made in good faith, the aggrieved woman lodging the complaint and any person providing information or any witness, will be protected from any form of retaliation. While dealing with complaints of sexual harassment, the ICC shall ensure that the aggrieved woman or witness are not victimized or discriminated against by the accused.
Any unwarranted pressures, retaliatory or any other type of unethical behavior from the accused against the aggrieved woman while investigation is in progress should be reported by the complainant to the ICC as soon as possible. Disciplinary action will be taken against any such complaints which are found to be genuine.
The ICC shall keep complete and accurate documentation of the complaint, its investigation and the resolution thereof. The incident would be documented in both the complainant’s and the accused’s files with full report of the ICC.
The ICC shall maintain confidential records of all proceedings that are initiated under this policy, which will include copies of all documents submitted at each proceeding. Such records shall include:
- Profile of the staff member both (Aggrieved woman and the Respondent).
- Nature of the concern
- Brief account of the steps taken to address the concern
- Result of any process undertaken under this policy, except inquiry proceedings
All proceedings under this rule shall be strictly in-camera (meaning all proceedings will be recorded) and the privacy of all parties shall be maintained.
The Company shall endeavour to provide support structures in the form of:
- Well documented list of phone numbers and addresses which may be contacted in emergencies
- An awareness programme for new staff members in order to familiarize them with the policy
- Acquainting all staff members to the policy
- Counseling the staff members of the company on ways of preventing and coping with sexual harassment
- Counseling for the victim
- Providing support to initiatives in addressing issues of sexuality
The ICC members are nominated by the Company management and shall consist of not less than four members, majority of which will be women and the Presiding officer / Chairperson shall be employed at a senior level in the company.
Committee for Office – Hypro Engineers Pvt. Ltd.
Bavdhan Pune-Paud Highway, Mantri Lavendulla Building, Office 3,4, 5 & 6, Pune 411021. Maharashtra, India
Committee for Factory-Hypro Engineers Pvt. Ltd.
Gat 225, 251 to 255 At post Kalamshet, Off Pune Mulshi Highway Taluka Paud, Pune 412108, Maharashtra, India.
Written complaint format:
Name of the Aggrieved woman:
Ms Ashwini Patil
The Chairperson – Internal Complaints Committee
Prevention, redressal and resolution of cases of sexual harassment of women at workplace
Hypro Engineers Private Limited
Below is the incident occurred
Please initiate an inquiry into the act(s) of the following Respondent(s):
Nature of complaint:
Nature of incident:
Date and time of the incident:
Location of incident:
Name of witnesses if any:
Signature of the complainant