Sexual harassment at the workplace results in violation of the fundamental rights of a woman - to equality under Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India
Protection against sexual harassment and the right to work with dignity are universally recognised human rights by international conventions
The QUADRAFORT TECHNOLOGIES PRIVATE LIMITED is an equal employment opportunity company and is committed to creating a healthy working environment that enables employees to work without fear of prejudice, gender bias and in a harassment free workplace to all employees without regard to race, caste, religion, colour, ancestry, marital status, gender, age, nationality, ethnic origin or disability.
The Company also believes that all employees of the Company have the right to be treated with dignity. Sexual harassment at the work place or other than work place if involving an employee or employees is a grave offence and is therefore, punishable
This Policy extends to all employees of QUADRAFORT TECHNOLOGIES and any other company which may be incorporated in future with applicability of QUADRAFORT TECHNOLOGIES HR policies - hereinafter referred to as 'Company' / 'Organization' in this policy. It is deemed to be incorporated in the service conditions of all employees of the Company in India. Local country laws will take precedence over this policy, in other geographies, if applicable.
This version of the policy is effective from January, 2022 and supersedes all prior policies and communication on this matter.
At QUADRAFORT TECHNOLOGIES, all employees are expected to uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct at the workplace and in all their interactions with business stakeholders. This means that employees have a responsibility to
This policy has been framed in accordance with the provisions of “The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013” and rules framed thereunder (hereinafter “the Act”). Accordingly, while the policy covers all the key aspects of the Act, for any further clarification reference shall always be made to the Act and the provisions of the Act shall prevail. If any aspect relating to sexual harassment not explicitly covered in this policy is provided for by the law, then the law will be applicable. In case of any conflict between the policy and the law, the law will prevail. This policy provides protection against sexual harassment of women at workplace and the prevention and redressal of complaints of sexual harassment and matters related to it.
This Policy extends to all employees of the Company and is deemed to be incorporated in the service conditions of all employees of the Company in India. Local country laws will take precedence over this policy, in other geographies, if applicable.
Sexual harassment may occur not only where a person uses sexual behavior to control, influence or affect the career, salary or job of another person, but also between co-workers. It may also occur between an employee and someone that employee deals with in the course of his/her work who is not employed by the Company. “Sexual Harassment” includes any one or more of the following unwelcome acts or behavior (whether directly or by implication), but not limited to:
1. Any unwelcome sexually determined behavior, or pattern of conduct, that would cause discomfort and/or humiliate a person at whom the behavior or conduct was directed namely:
2. The following circumstances if it occurs or is present in relation to any sexually determined act or behavior amount to sexual harassment:
An alleged act of sexual harassment committed during or outside of office hours falls under the purview of this policy. Further, it is important to note that whether harassment has occurred or not does not depend on the intention of the people but on the experience of the aggrieved woman.
Aggrieved woman: In relation to a workplace, a woman, of any age, whether employed or not, who alleges to have been subjected to any act of sexual harassment by the respondent.
Complainant: Any aggrieved woman who makes a complaint alleging sexual harassment under this policy
Respondent:A person against whom a complaint of sexual harassment has been made by the aggrieved woman under this policy
Employee: A person employed at the workplace, for any work on regular, temporary, ad-hoc or daily wage basis, either directly or through an agent, including a contractor, with or without the knowledge of the principal employer, whether for remuneration or not, or working on a voluntary basis or otherwise, whether the terms of employment are express or implied and includes a coworker, a contract worker, probationer, trainee, apprentice or called by any other such name
Special Educator: A Special Educator means a person trained in communication with people with special needs in a way that addresses their individual differences and needs.
Workplace: Premises, locations, establishments, enterprises, institutions, offices, branches or units established, subsidiaries which are controlled by the Company. o Places visited by the Employee arising out of or during the course of employment including official events, accommodation and transportation provided by the employer for undertaking a journey.
Employer: A person responsible for management, supervision and control of the workplace
It is the responsibility of all to respect the rights of others and to never encourage harassment. It can be done by:
Formal Intervention In compliance with the Act, any complaint under this policy shall be followed by a formal redressal mechanism as described in this Policy.
a. Internal Complaints Committee (Henceforth known as ‘committee’) To prevent instances of sexual harassment and to receive and effectively deal with complaints pertaining to the same, Internal Complaints Committees (IC) have been appointed for all administrative units / offices of the company. The detail of the committee is notified to all covered persons at the location (workplace). The committee at each location comprises of:
The committee will be responsible for:
b. Committee Members Internal Complaint Committees have been formulated comprise of the following:
c. Lodging a Complaint
An aggrieved woman may make, in writing, a complaint of sexual harassment at workplace to the Internal Committee within a period of 3 months from the date of incident/ last incident. The Internal Committee can extend the timeline by another 3 months for reasons recorded in writing, if satisfied that these reasons prevented the lodging of the complaint within the period
Provided that where such a complaint cannot be made in writing, the Presiding Officer or any Member of the Internal Complaint Committee shall render all reasonable assistance to the women for making the complaint in writing
d. Receiving a Complaint (guidelines)Dealing with incidents of harassment is not like any other type of dispute. Complainants may be embarrassed and distressed and it requires tact and discretion while receiving the complaint.
The following points are to be kept in mind by the receiver of the complaint: -
Complaints are listened to and the complainant informed that the Company takes the concerns seriously. Complainant is informed that these concerns will be reported to the appropriate committee and follow up will be done speedily. - Situations are not be pre-judged. Written notes are to be taken while listening to the person. When taking notes, complainants own words, where possible, are to be used accurately. Clear description of the incident in simple and direct terms is prepared and details are confirmed with the complainant. - All notes are kept strictly confidential. Complainant’s agreement is taken to allow proceeding with the matter, which involves a formal investigation. - The complainant is advised that although the process is confidential, the respondent needs to be informed and any witnesses and persons directly involved in the complaint process will also learn of the complainant’s identity Care is taken to prevent any disadvantage to or victimization of either the complainant or the respondent.
e. Resolution procedure through conciliation Once the complaint is received, before initiating the inquiry, the committee may take steps to conciliate the complaint between the complainant and the respondent. This is only if requested by the aggrieved woman. No monetary settlement can be made as a basis of conciliation. In case a settlement is arrived at, the committee records & reports the same to the employer for taking appropriate action. Resolution through conciliation is to happen within 2 weeks of receipt of complaint. The committee shall provide copies of the settlement to complainant & respondent. Where a settlement is arrived at, no further inquiry is to be conducted by the committee.
f. Resolution procedure through formal inquiryThe committee will initiate inquiry in the following cases:
1. Manner and Procedure of inquiry into complaint:
If the complainant or respondent desires to cross examine any witnesses, the Committee facilitates the same and records the statements. In case complainant or respondent seeks to ask questions to the other party, they may give them to the Committee which asks them and records the statement of the other party. Any such inquiry is completed, including the submission of the Inquiry Report, within 90 days from the date on which the inquiry is commenced. The inquiry procedure should ensure absolute fairness to all parties2. Interim relief During pendency of the inquiry on a written request made by the complainant, the committee may recommend to the employer to:
3. Termination of Inquiry: Committee may terminate the inquiry or give exparte decision, if complainant or respondent respectively is absent for 3 consecutive hearings, without sufficient reason. 15 day written notice is to be given to the party, before termination of enquiry or ex-parte order.
4. Action to be taken after inquiry Post the inquiry, the committee submits its report containing the findings and recommendations to the employer, within 10 days of completion of the inquiry.
5. Complaint unsubstantiated Where the committee arrives at the conclusion that the allegation against the respondent has not been proved, it recommends to the employer that no action is required to be taken in this matter. Further, the committee ensures that both parties understand that the matter has been fully investigated, that the matter is now concluded, and neither will be disadvantaged within the Company.
Where the committee arrives at the conclusion that the allegation against the respondent has been proved, it recommends to the employer to take necessary action for sexual harassment as misconduct, in accordance with the applicable service rules and policies, and this may include:
The Company is required to act upon the recommendations within 60 days and confirm to the committee. Post implementation of the actions, follow up with the complainant should also occur to ascertain whether the behavior has in fact stopped, the solution is working satisfactorily and if no victimization of either party is occurring.
of Sexual Harassment In case the Committee finds the degree of offence coverable under the Indian Penal Code, then this fact shall be mentioned in its report and appropriate action shall be initiated by the employer, for making a Police Complaint. Under the Indian Penal Code, (IPC), the newly introduced Section (S. 354A) which deals with Sexual Harassment has made this a ‘cognizable offense’ i.e. a person charged with Sexual Harassment may be arrested without a warrant.
Where the committee arrives at the conclusion that the allegation against the respondent is malicious or the aggrieved woman or any other person making the complaint has made the complaint knowing it to be false or the aggrieved woman or any other person making the complaint has produced any forged or misleading document, it may recommend to the employer to take action against the woman or the person making the complaint. While deciding malicious intent, the committee should consider that mere inability to substantiate a complaint need not mean malicious intent. Malicious intent must be clearly established through a separate inquiry
The identity of the complainant, respondent, witnesses, statements and other evidence obtained in the course of inquiry process, recommendations of the committees, action taken by the employer is considered as confidential materials, and not published or made known to public or media. Any person contravening the confidentiality clauses is subject to disciplinary action as prescribed in the act.
Any party not satisfied or further aggrieved by the implementation or nonimplementation of recommendations made, may appeal to the appellate authority in accordance with the Act, within 90 days of the recommendations being communicated.
Awareness sessions are to be organized to:
The IC shall in each calendar year prepare, is such format as may be prescribed, an annual report and submit the same to the employer and the District Officer (as defined in the Act). The report shall have the following details: