PoSH full form

PoSH full form

The full form of “PoSH” in HR is “Prevention Of Sexual Harassment.”

What is PoSH Act 2013?

The Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) Act, officially known as the "Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013", is a law in India designed to protect women and all employees from sexual harassment at the workplace. 

PoSH Act was passed by the Indian Parliament in September 2013 and was a significant step towards creating a safe workplace environment for women in India.

In the HR context, it refers to designing policies, training, and guidelines to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace in corporate or professional settings.

Key features of the PoSH Act 2013

Here’s a brief overview of the important features:

Defining Sexual Harassment

The Act provides a clear, legal definition of sexual harassment in the workplace. It includes any unwelcome sexual behavior, whether directly or by implication, such as physical contact and advances, demand or request for sexual favors, making sexually colored remarks, showing pornography, or any other unwelcome physical, verbal, or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.

Creating a Redressal Mechanism

The Act mandates that all employers must set up an 'Internal Complaints Committee' (ICC) at each office or branch that has 10 or more employees. This Committee is responsible for receiving complaints of sexual harassment, conducting inquiries, and resolving the matter.


The Act includes provisions to protect the identity of the person who has experienced harassment, the respondent, and witnesses.

Protection Against Retaliation

The Act includes measures to prevent the victim from facing retaliation due to their complaint. To ensure that, the act allows for a transfer of the victim or complainant to another workplace, grants leave for up to a period of three months, and other relief measures.


The Act includes penalties for employers who fail to comply with the provisions of the PoSH Act. It includes a fine of up to INR 50,000. It also includes penalties for false accusations.


PoSH covers every employee irrespective of gender and protects them against sexual harassment at all workplaces, both in the public and private sectors. 

The PoSH Act is a significant step towards creating a safer and more inclusive workplace environment in India. 

ICC full form in PoSH

The full form of ICC is Internal Complaints Committee.

According to the PoSH Act, the Internal Committee must be comprised of:

Presiding Officer

A woman employed at a senior level in the workplace. If there is no senior-level woman employee, the Presiding Officer shall be nominated from other offices or administrative units.

Two Members

At least two members (preferably committed to the cause of women or who have had experience in social work or have legal knowledge), are to be selected from amongst the employees.

External Member

One member from a non-governmental organization or association committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment.

The Act also stipulates that at least half the total members of the IC must be women.

Glossary Inforgraphic

What happens after someone files a complaint with PoSH?

An inquiry is conducted by the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC). It gives both parties involved a chance to be heard during the inquiry. The inquiry should complete within 90 days. 

After the inquiry, if the person who committed such an act is found guilty then corrective action is taken by the ICC. Corrective action can include

  • Formal apology to the victim
  • Transfer of the person to another department
  • Suspension or termination of services of the employee found guilty of offense
  • Counseling by a professional
  • A written warning to the concerned employee and a copy of it is maintained in his record.

PoSH policy - Get an editable policy document for your company

This policy is designed to create a safe and inclusive environment for all employees, regardless of their gender, by outlining procedures to prevent and address incidents of sexual harassment. Do go through and make any necessary changes required for your company!

PoSH training - everything you need to know

PoSH training is for all employees in a company. The members of the ICC also undergo special training regularly to handle complaints and be updated with laws.

The training is generally conducted to educate employees about what constitutes sexual harassment, how to prevent it, and what procedures to follow if harassment occurs.

The training usually covers legal definitions, company policies, and real-world examples to help participants understand the gravity and complexity of the issue. It often also involves role-playing exercises, case studies, and open discussions to make the training interactive and engaging.

Who takes the training for employees?

There are online PoSH courses available that are given by the employer to employees. All employees must complete the course. When they do, they finish PoSH training.

An in-house HR specialized and certified in PoSH can also do the training for employees and the committee members. Alternatively, they may hire external experts or consultants to conduct the training. Some companies might also use online PoSH training modules, particularly if they have remote or distributed teams.

Frequently asked questions

When was PoSH act passed?

The PoSH act was passed by the Indian Parliament in September 2013.

Who is responsible under the posh act to set up an internal committee by an order in writing?

The employer is responsible for to set up an internal committee. Generally, the HR team in a company takes care of it.

What is the typical time frame to file a complaint in PoSH?

The complainant can file a complaint 

  • Within three months from the incident, or in case of a series of incidents
  • Within three months from the last incident.

Is it mandatory to have PoSH policy?

Yes, every organization with 10 or more employees must have PoSH policy.

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