Human Capital organises Virtual Roundtable on POSH Act

Human Capital organises Virtual Roundtable on POSH Act

Human Capital Magazine, in Collaboration with SHLC (Sexual Harassment Law Compliance Advisory), organised the POSH 2.0 Roundtable on Saturday, October 24, 2020. The POSH 2.0 Roundtable aimed towards understanding the new normal of virtual workplaces, remote working, and work from home and the need for revision of the prevention of sexual harassment mechanisms. The Roundtable also focussed on understanding the various POSH mechanisms that have been impacted and how organisations have adjusted to POSH 2.0.


The Roundtable began with a discussion on how various organisations view sexual harassment and the policies they have implemented to prevent the same. Most panellists were of the belief that it is extremely pertinent to generate awareness about sexual harassment and the multiple aspects it covers. With a new normal way of life, they believe it is important to make employees aware of what the POSH Act covers in a virtual workplace setting so that they make a conscious effort to watch their behaviour and actions while interacting with each other.


Ms. Urvi Aaradhya, Chief Human Resource Officer, K Raheja Corp., and Mr. Viekas K Khokha, Head HR, Dhanuka Agritech Ltd. spoke about creating awareness among employees about maintaining professional etiquette virtually and respecting the personal boundaries of colleagues by being weary of their time and space outside working hours.


The panellists retraced the first few steps they took in their respective organisations with respect to the POSH Act upon the announcement of the nationwide lockdown.


Ms. Rashmi Nagori, Execute Vice President Head HR, Edelweiss Wealth Management talked about how they started with initiating structured communication with the employees of the organisation. She conducted one-on-one sessions with the employees and helped them normalise various work from home situations.


Ms. Heena Khurana, Assistant Manager HR Ferns N Petals talked about creating awareness among employees about what constitutes sexual harassment online in accordance with the POSH Act.


An important point which was highlighted was that organisations should bring about a cultural change in their administration instead of simply handing over etiquette rulebooks to the employees. To help employees adjust to the virtual workplace setting better, it is essential to give them proper training, for instance, they should be informed in advance if they are required to switch on their videos during official calls.


Ms. Geetanjali Wheeler, Sr. Learning and Development Leader, emphasised on the ever-evolving human nature and how proper training can help employees understand professional online etiquette and also help them cope with the various challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic.


Ms. Namita Bhardwaj, Senior Director HR,, emphasised on the need for respect in a workplace and the importance of setting it as a core value of the organisation. Talking about how this atmosphere of respect can be established in a virtual setting.


Ms. Kalpana Bansal, Head Competency Assessment and Development, Reliance Industries Ltd. suggested the practice of “Reverse Youth” wherein young people can teach employees basic social media behaviour to help them adjust and understand what kind of online practices are unacceptable and may be seen as harassment.


Taking cognisance of the role of mental health during the pandemic and with respect to POSH, Ms. Manvi Sushil, HR Director, Avery Dennison, emphasised on the need to understand the relationship between mental health and sexual harassment at workplaces. She talked about how it is essential to help employees cope with the self - isolation that the pandemic has subjected them to.


While discussing the various practices they have adopted to restructure their Internal Committees to suit the virtual workplace environment, the panellists spoke about introducing toll-free numbers and chatbots for clearing of doubts relating to POSH to create easy access to its processes. They also spoke about including all genders in their sexual harassment policies to ensure diversity and acceptance in the workplace. Another suggestion discussed was organising assistance programs for employees to provide them third-party assistance and counselling to help them cope with their mental health concerns.


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Aparajita Amar: Aparajita is an advocate, certified sexual harassment and workplace diversity advisor and founder of SHLC - Sexual Harassment Law Compliance Advisory. She is reachable on


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