New Act encourages women to speak against sexual harassment at workplace

unnamed (4)IRIS Corp, a specialized integrated HR Solutions company, and Corporate Knowledge Foundation, a primary source of research-oriented knowledge enhancer for Professionals & Corporate Entities, come together to organize a day-long conference on ‘Sexual harassment of women at workplace – prevention & redressal’. The conference brought together 80 professionals from corporates, financial firms, law firms, CAs & CS.

The agenda of the conference was to create awareness about the various sections and facets of The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, and associated areas including criminal proceedings, disciplinary action, etc. The primary objective of the Act is to safeguard the interest of female employees at the workplace on the one hand and on the other hand, provide for punishment in case of false and malicious representation. Through this conference, IRIS and CKF aimed to enlighten not only the Female Employees about their rights covered under the law but also Business Owners, Management, Law Professionals, and HR Managers about the various provisions of the Act.

Cases of sexual harassment at workplace have been the dark underbelly of professional life for a long time but provisions of the new Act, strict enforcement and prompt action are now encouraging women to be more candid and complain about such incidents. At the same time, managers at the workplace need to be ensure that the law is not misused as the loss of reputation for a person, who is falsely implicated, could be irreparable.

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 came into force from 9 December 2013. Guidelines issued by Supreme Court of India in case of Vishakha vs. State of Rajasthan are the basis of the Act.

Speaking at the conference, Mr. Sandeep Gupta, Director & CFO, IRIS Corporate Solutions Private Limited said, “Sexual harassment is the ugly and uncomfortable truth of today’s professional life. The objective of Conference is to make the workforce – both Men & Women – aware about the Issues emanating out of such instances and how to address them to comply with the law.”

Mr. G P Madaan – Founder & CEO of Corporate Knowledge Foundation, said, “The idea behind the Today’s Conference is to sensitize the issues, Law and The Prevention and redressal mechanism amongst employees and workforce. A proper understanding of Law may also avoid the likely misuse of Law’s stringent Provisions against Men and being in true Compliance.”

Mr. Madaan further added that the law alone cannot prevent such abuses. It’s only the mindset of the individual and the cultural values prevailing in the society which matter.

Some of the other eminent speakers who contributed were Dr. S. Kumar, Corporate Lawyer, Former Principal Director, ICSI; Mr. Ashok Arora, Renowned Criminal Lawyer & Former Secretary, Supreme Court Bar Association; Mr. Avtar Monga; Mr. Sanjiv Dagar, Managing Counsel of Legajoist – Advocates & Solicitors, Ms. Shalini Khanna, Hony Secretary, NAB-India Centre for Blind Women and Disability Studies.