Healthvista India Limited (hereinafter “Our Company” or the “Company”) is committed to provide work environment that ensures every employee is treated with dignity and respect and afforded equitable treatment.
The Company is also committed to promote a work environment that is conducive to the professional growth of its employees and encourages equality of opportunity.
The Company will not tolerate any form of sexual harassment and is committed to take all necessary steps to ensure that its employees are not subjected to any form of harassment. The Prevention of Sexual Harassment Policy has been formed to prohibit, prevent or deter the commission of acts of sexual harassment at workplace and to provide the procedure for the redressal of complaints pertaining to sexual harassment.
The Policy for Prevention of Sexual Harassment was constituted by the Board of Directors at the meeting held on 27th June 2022 in compliance with the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.
This policy applies to all categories of employees of the Company, including permanent management and workmen, temporaries, trainees and employees on contract at their workplace or at client sites. The Company will not tolerate sexual harassment, if engaged in by clients or by suppliers or any other business associates.
The workplace includes:
1. All offices or other premises where the Company’s business is conducted.
2. All company-related activities performed at any other site away from the Company’s premises.
3. Any social, business or other functions where the conduct or comments may have an adverse impact on the workplace or workplace relations.
(A) “Sexual harassment” would mean and include any of the following:
1. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests or demand for sexual favours, either explicitly or implicitly, in return for employment, promotion, examination or evaluation of a person towards any company activity;
2. Unwelcome sexual advances involving verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct such as sexually coloured remarks, jokes, letters, phone calls, e-mail, gestures, showing of pornography, lurid stares, physical contact or molestation, stalking, sounds, display of pictures, signs, verbal or non-verbal communication which offends the individuals sensibilities and affect her/his performance;
3. Eve teasing, innuendos and taunts, physical confinement against one’s will and likely to intrude upon one’s privacy;
4. Act or conduct by a person in authority which creates the environment at workplace hostile or intimidating to a person belonging to the other sex;
5. Conduct of such an act at work place or outside in relation to an Employee of the company, or vice versa during the course of employment; and
6. Any unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal gesture by an employee having sexual overtones.
Sexual harassment is emotionally abusive and creates an unhealthy, unproductive atmosphere at the workplace. Sexual harassment cases can be classified into two categories – quid pro quo and creation of a hostile working environment.
(a) Under the quid pro quo (meaning this for that) form of harassment, a person or authority, usually the superior of the victim, demands sexual favors for getting or keeping a job benefit and threatens to fire the employee if the conditions are not met.
(b) A hostile work environment arises when a co-worker or supervisor creates a work environment through verbal or physical conduct that interferes with another co-worker’s job performance or creates the workplace atmosphere which is intimidating, hostile, offensive or humiliating and experienced as an attack on personal dignity. For example, an employee tells offensive jokes. No person shall indulge or caused to be indulged under instructions from superior in sexual harassment of co-workers.
However, an employee who is sexually harassed can complain about the same even if there is no adverse job consequence.
(B) “Employee” means any person on the rolls of the Company including those on deputation, contract, temporary, part time or working as consultants.
Responsibilities regarding Sexual Harassment
All employees of the Company have a personal responsibility to ensure that their behavior is not contrary to this policy. All employees are encouraged to reinforce the maintenance of a work environment free from sexual harassment.
INTERNAL COMPLAINT COMMITTEE:
The Company has instituted an “Internal Complaint Committee” for redressal of sexual harassment complaint (made by the victim or by anyone on behalf of the victim) and for ensuring time bound treatment of such complaints. The Complaints Committee will comprise of the following, till further notice:
- Poonam Valvatkar – Presiding Officer
- Meenakshi Sharma – Member
- Jaipradha Jayaraman – Member
- Sachin Verma – Member
- Sudhir Gowda – Member (External Legal Advisor)
The Complaints Committee is responsible for:
– Investigating every formal written complaint of sexual harassment
– Taking appropriate remedial measures to respond to any substantiated allegations of sexual harassment
– Discouraging and preventing employment-related sexual harassment.
It is to be noted that the Internal Complaint Committee will not entertain any anonymous complaints.
The Committee shall in each calendar year prepare an annual report stating the number of complaints received during the year, number of complaints disposed off during the year and such other information as required and submit it to the employers.
PROCEDURE FOR INFORMAL GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL
Informal processes normally involve an intermediary means for resolving a problem. In the case of Sexual Harassment, at first instance, the person (i.e. HOD/ HR / Woman representative of the location) may be the point of first contact for anyone seeking informal support/intervention to stop unwelcome behavior.
A sense of restraint and responsibility on the part of all concerned is critical for the effective functioning of these guidelines. The preventive / informal process that can be adopted is as follows:
- Convey to the person who is the cause of distress, about what that person’s actions, words, behavior is doing and convey in no uncertain terms that such behavior is not appreciated. What is important is the “Way” a particular behavior, action or word is perceived; “Intent” is of no consequence.
- The second step would be to approach someone within the company – preferably your Superior or HR Representative. The Superior or HR Representative would then try and counsel / talk it over with a view towards closing the matter amicably.
- In any case all such incidents along with the resolution, needs to be reported to the Head of HR who will then provide a short report to the Internal Complaints Committee and the matter will be closed.
- However, in the event of it not being resolved, then it would need to be escalated to the Internal Complaints Committee.
PROCEDURES FOR RESOLUTION, SETTLEMENT OR PROSECUTION OF ACTS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT:
In the event of the complaint not being resolved through informal mechanism, then it would need to be escalated to the Internal Complaint Committee for redressal. The Company is committed to providing a supportive environment to resolve concerns of sexual harassment as under:
1. An employee with a harassment concern may make a formal complaint to the Presiding Officer of the Complaints Committee constituted by the Management. The complaint shall have to be in writing and can be in form of a letter, preferably within 15 days from the date of occurrence of the alleged incident, sent in a sealed envelope. Alternately, the employee can send complaint through an email. The employee is required to disclose their name, department, division and location they are working in, to enable the Presiding Officer to contact them and take the matter forward.
2. The Presiding Officer of the Complaints Committee will proceed to determine whether the allegations (assuming them to be true only for the purpose of this determination) made in the complaint fall under the purview of Sexual Harassment, preferably within 30 days from receipt of the complaint.
In the event, the allegation does not fall under the purview of Sexual Harassment or the allegation does not constitute an offence of Sexual Harassment, the Presiding Officer will record this finding with reasons and communicate the same to the complainant.
3. If the Presiding Officer of the Complaints Committee determines that the allegations constitute an act of sexual harassment, he/ she will proceed to investigate the allegation with the assistance of the Complaints Committee.
4. Where such conduct, on the part of the accused, amounts to a specific offence under the law, the Company shall initiate appropriate action in accordance with law by making a complaint with the appropriate authority.
5. The Complaints Committee shall conduct such investigations in a timely manner and shall submit a written report containing the findings and recommendations to the Executive Director & Head of HR Department as soon as practically possible and in any case, not later than 90 days from the date of receipt of the complaint. The Executive Director & Head of HR Department will ensure corrective action on the recommendations of the Complaints Committee and keep the complainant informed of the same.
Corrective action may include any of the following:
a. Formal apology;
c. Written warning to the perpetrator and a copy of it maintained in the employee’s file;
d. Change of work assignment / transfer for either the perpetrator or the victim;
e. Withholding promotion;
f. Suspension or termination of services of the employee found guilty of the offence.
6. In case the complaint is found to be false, the Complainant shall, if deemed fit, be liable for appropriate disciplinary action by the Management.
The Company understands that it is difficult for the victim to come forward with a complaint of sexual harassment and recognizes the victim’s interest in keeping the matter confidential.
To protect the interests of the victim, the accused person and others who may report incidents of sexual harassment, confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigatory process to the extent practicable and appropriate under the circumstances.
PROTECTION TO COMPLAINANT / VICTIM:
The Company is committed to ensuring that no employee who brings forward a harassment concern is subject to any form of reprisal. Any reprisal will be subject to disciplinary action.
The Company will ensure that the victim or witnesses are not victimized or discriminated against while dealing with complaints of sexual harassment.
However, anyone who abuses the procedure (for example, by maliciously putting an allegation knowing it to be untrue) will be subject to disciplinary action.
In conclusion, the Company reiterates its commitment to providing its employees, a workplace free from harassment/ discrimination and where every employee is treated with dignity and respect.
Format for Annual report of Complaint Redressal Committee:
[As required under sec. 21 of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013]