---"Has Covid-19 Caused Surge in incidence of Sexual Harssment of Woman at Workplace?"---

A claim is circulating that purportedly post Pandemic there is an upsurge in incidents of Sexual Harassments of Women-Employees Working from their Homes and Employers alerted to consequential impact on their Duties to Provide Protection to such Women-Employees by revising responsibilities of all concerned and by other suitable steps.

“Work from Home” is not a new or novel phenomenon. It was in practice pre-Pandemic era and has escalated in Establishments which were into this Practice and somewhat erupted in other Establishments due to Lockdown.

In pre-Pandemic Period, too for Women-Employees, their respective Home Premises/Dwelling Place, site served as their Workplace for that Day or few Hours duly allowed by Employers where they carried out their Normal assigned Duties while Working from Home and remuneration paid therefor

As per Provisions of Section-2, sub-section (O) V & VI, Workplace includes any place visited by Woman-Employee arising out of and or in course of her Employment including transportation provided by her Employer for undertaking such journey, and a dwelling place or a house. The definition of Workplace thus includes Work from Home Premises and arguably is and remains a Notional Extension of her regular Workplace as she is present at her Home Premises On-Duty for scheduled Hours of Work arising out of and in course of her Employment, albeit her Home Premises is not the Registered Premises for which Establishment Certificate or Factory License is to be essentially applied for & procured as is essential for the Employers /Occupier-Owned, Controlled, Managed, Supervised Workplace Premises.

In this changed context and as far as the past record of incidences of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace is concerned it may be preposterous to profess that there is or likely to be some substantial surge in Sexual Harassment incidents, occurrences Post-Pandemic outbreak due to Covid Confinement. Unless of course definite verified/validated Data is available on Record. Otherwise any guesswork could cause Pandemonium opening proverbial Pandora’s Box.

Since 9.12.2013, Every Employer is Duty-Bound by SHWW (P,P &R) Act 2013 (Section-19) to Provide Protection to Women from Sexual Harassment at Workplace and Create a Safe & Secure Workplace Environment Where No Woman Shall Be subjected to Sexual Harassment for such SH is treated as Violation of her Fundamental Rights to Live with Dignity & Honour and pursue any Avocation, Profession or Work to be Self-Reliant.

Let us all ally ourselves with the Cause of Creating Wealth & Wellbeing for all the Stakeholders without any disruptions or disturbance whatsoever.

Harsh Kumar Sharan,

Kritarth Consulting Spl Educators PoSH Programs,

Kritarth Consulting Team, 16.7.2020

#holistichr # allaboutposh #PoshMasters

From India, Delhi
Dear colleagues,
This post is a subject engaging attention of HR & Management-policy makers recently problems emanating from compulsions arising out of WFH. It may be helpful to go thru' the following article on the subject matter, which broadly apply to Indian environments as well, although fully not dealing with SH issues in the context of that such "Homes" also can be defined as 'work place' for not only SH specific but also other contingencies such as ECom.Act/ESI etc.

Australia: Your staff are all working from home – so what are your health and safety obligations as an employer?
08 April 2020
by Emily Wittig
Stacks Law Firm
Employers still responsible for ensuring safe work environment
With more and more people working from home – many for the first time because of coronavirus – it is important both employers and employees know the law that governs the home workspace.
Even when staff are working from home, employers still have the responsibility to ensure a safe work environment under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.
Regardless of the type of work you do, if you are an employee and you are working for a company or individual, they have a duty of care for your health and safety while you are working.
Safety and security should be on par with the company office
Employers have a duty to ensure the home workspace has the same safety provisions as if staff were working in the company office.
This includes security and fire safety. Home workers must have functioning smoke alarms, and a safe way to evacuate the premises.
Employers should also provide the same safe workplace equipment as in the company office, such as ergonomic chairs, work phones, computers, adequate computer monitors – everything to ensure the home workspace complies with health and safety requirements.
If an employee working from home sees clients at their home as part of the business, the employer needs to ensure they have the required level of public liability insurance.
Employees working from home should be covered by workers compensation insurance
If an employee is injured while working at home – or at any time during the course of their employment – the employer's workers' compensation insurance should cover that employee.
For instance, if the worker trips over cables, slips on the floor or tumbles down stairs in the home workspace during work time, then by law the employer should have them covered by insurance. Employers could be liable even if an employee has an accident making coffee in their own kitchen during work time.
Develop a home workplace safety checklist
During the current health crisis when many employers are suddenly telling workers to carry out their tasks at home – mostly on computer or phone – it would be best to develop a checklist for employees to verify that their home workspace complies with health and safety standards.
With self-isolation it is impossible to check employees' homes physically to ensure they comply, so it would be wise for employers to get legal advice on how best to formulate a home workplace safety checklist.
If employers can demonstrate they have such a policy and checklist, and have trained or instructed employees on safe home workplace requirements, this should serve to protect the employer if an employee has an accident while working from home.
Employers could demonstrate safe workplace requirements via Skype or Facetime and use this opportunity to do a visual inspection of the home workspace, pointing out potential problems.
Employees ordered to work from home where there are safety problems – including domestic violence – should consult a workplace lawyer, as they may have a right to claim compensation.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
Emily Wittig, Employment law, Stacks Collins Thompson.

From India, Bangalore

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