Compliances and Returns under Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) Act

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act, 2013 (commonly known as POSH Act or the Workplace Harassment Law) was notified on 23rd April, 2013 and the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Rules, 2013 were notified on 9th Dec, 2013 (jointly referred to as “Sexual Harassment Laws”).


The Sexual Harassment laws apply to all Employers (viz. individuals, partnerships, LLPs or Companies) in India irrespective of the size, scale, nature of industry or location. It covers employee harassment in the workplace for women employees.

What is Sexual Harassment?

  1. Physical contact and advances; or
  2. A demand or request for sexual favours; or
  3. Making sexually colored remarks; or
  4. Showing pornography; or
  5. Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature

Events deemed to be Sexual Harassment

  1. Implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in her employment; or
  2. Implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment in her employment; or
  3. Implied or explicit threat about her present or future employment status; or
  4. Interference with her work or creating an intimidating or offensive or hostile work environment for her; or
  5. Humiliating treatment likely to affect her health or safety

Compliances under Sexual Harassment Laws

  1. Constituting an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013;
  2. The ICC needs to have an external representation from an NGO or a Lawyer or a person having knowledge and experience in such areas.
  3. Drafting of the Sexual Harassment Policy and approval of the same by the Board.
  4. Convening meetings of the Internal Complaints Committee as and when required
  5. Filing of Annual Return under the Act
  6. To conduct awareness workshops for the employees and orientation programmes for the ICC in accordance with the Act
  7. Investigation of the Complaints made to the Committee and submitting a report thereto;
  8. Assistance by the Company to the complainant in filing of FIR or complaint to the police, if required
  9. Reporting the complaints received and disposed off, in the Board’s Report along with annual Financial Statements

Penalty for Non Compliance

Non compliance of the provisions of the POSH Act may lead to a penalty of Rs. 50,000 or cancellation of business license.

 We, at eMinds Legal, help Companies in POSH compliances by nominating a Woman Lawyer as an external member of the ICC, conducting workshops, carrying out investigations, filing returns and ensuring compliances under the POSH Act.

Please free to reach out to me for any further guidance or assistance on the POSH Act or anything related to Governance, Risk or Compliance.



Sumit Pahwa

Co-founder & Partner, eMinds Legal LLP

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About Sumit Pahwa

Sumit Pahwa | Partner

A Corporate Lawyer & Company Secretary, Sumit has over 17 years of experience in dealing with the Corporate Legal and Compliance issues of small, medium and large corporates and is the founder partner of the law firm “eMinds Legal”, a Corporate Law Firm based in Gurgaon specialising in Corporate Secretarial, Corporate Legal and Compliances.

Sumit is an expert in Corporate Laws, Governance, Risk & Compliance and has independently led investigations related to Sexual Harassment, Fraud, Cybercrime and whistle blower cases.

Sumit is also the Lead Author of “Corporate Law Referencer” - a leading book on Companies Act, 2013 and LLP Regulations and published by Lexis Nexis.

Sumit is a regular speaker at the Institute of Company Secretaries of India, various management colleges and several small and large corporates on Corporate Laws, Sexual Harassment Laws and Compliances.

Sumit leads the Corporate Legal vertical at eMinds Legal and is supported by a strong team of Corporate Lawyers at eMinds Legal who advise corporates for their routine corporate legal requirements.

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