As an organization we are committed to ensuring that the work environment at all our locations and workplace is conducive to fair, safe and harmonious relations between employees. We as a Company respect the dignity of all employees working for the Company irrespective of their gender, hierarchy and we expect responsible conduct and behavior on the part of all our employees at all levels. Providing for a safe and congenial work environment to all employees is an integral part of the Company’s employment policy. Discrimination and harassment of any type are strictly prohibited. As a company, we have a very good record of ensuring this culture as part of our existing human resource management and employee relation practices.
We have also ensured that no employee is disadvantaged by way of gender discrimination. We would, however, like to now ensure that there is absolute clarity on the important and sensitive issue of sexual harassment. This note therefore annunciates the company’s approach to the issue of sexual harassment and its policy for dealing with any incidence of the same.
Scope of the Policy
This policy applies to all employees of Tega, its group, associate and subsidiary companies who are employed in permanent or temporary capacity at any business location or workplace of the Company. This policy has been framed with a view to:
- Promote a workplace based on equality & respect.
- Provide a safe and congenial work environment.
- Awareness & sensitization about sexual harassment at the workplace
- Prevent sexual harassment.
- Provide formal and informal mechanism for redressal.
- Define the implications and outcome of sexual harassment.
Definition Of Issue
A broad definition of sexual harassment consists of any physical or verbal behavior and any form of Communication that has unnecessary, improper or unwelcome sexual connotations. Sexual harassment may vary in form depending on circumstances. It may consist of, but not be limited to, any of the following:
- Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, display of sexual visuals, sexual audios, pornographic or obscene material and any other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
- Transmitting any message, by mail, telephone, e-mail etc. which is obscene, lewd, suggestive or blatantly sexual in nature
- Any explicit or implicit Communication wherein a sexual favor or demand, whether by words or actions, is made a condition for an individual’s employment, career progress, promotion etc. thereby creating a hostile environment.
- Sexually charged jokes or remarks and behavior which have sexually oriented innuendoes.
- Consistent pattern of unnecessary physical contact, staring or targeting unreasonable attention at an individual in day to day dealings.
- Any pervasive pattern of behavior which makes employees uncomfortable, insecure or feel humiliated or disadvantaged on the basis of gender differentiation.
- Actual sexual assault
- Subjecting another person to an unwelcome act of physical intimacy including grabbing, brushing, touching, including sexual flirtations, advances or propositions.
- Engaging in any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, verbal or even nonverbal, staring to make the other person uncomfortable, making offensive gestures, etc.
- Making an unwelcome demand or request whether directly or by implication for sexual favours and/or making it a condition of employment/payment of wages/increments/promotion / preferential treatment / threat to detrimental treatment in employment / threat to current or future employment status or similar act.
As mentioned above, this is an indicative but not an exhaustive list of possible forms of sexual harassment.
Any place where working relationship and/or employer-employee relationship between the company and the person exists. This includes our premises (including transit houses & guest houses) and any place visited by the employee arising out of or during the course of employment including transportation provided by the employer for undertaking such a journey.
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.
An appropriate complaint mechanism in the form of Internal Complaints Committee has been created by the Company for the time bound redressal of the complaints. The Committee should comprise of at least 4 members with 50% females members and headed by a female member. The present Committee Members and their contact nos. are as follows:
- Mrs Kakoli Saha 9433911358
- Vijaya Chatterjee 9051498523
- Sudipta Bhowal 9051498504
- Sanjeev Mishra 9051498502
Grievance Redressal Machinery
Given that this policy highlights a preventive focus, there is a need to distinguish between an informal and formal process.
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 HOD, SBU Head / HR / Employee representative of the location may be the point of first contact for anyone seeking informal support/intervention to stop unwelcome behavior.
Benefits of an informal process are:
- It is consistent with the preventive approach.
- It helps to diffuse a minor incident without diluting as also escalating the problem.
- Often people just want unwelcome behavior to stop without drawing undue attention; an informal process makes this option more possible.
- it involves employees to share in the responsibility of eliminating unwelcome behavior at work.
The preventive/informal process to be adopted would be 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.
- The second step would be to approach someone within the company – preferably the Superior or HR Representative who 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 CHRO who will then provide a short report to the Internal Complaints Committee and the matter will be closed.
Procedure for Formal Grievance Redressal
However, in the event of it not being resolved, then the formal process would need to be initiated and the compliant would be escalated to the Internal Complaints Committee which shall follow the under-mentioned steps:
- Any employee who experiences sexual harassment can get in touch with any member of this Committee whose contact details are provided above for convenient and confidential access. Alternatively, the affected employee may approach any senior executive and such senior executive will be expected to inform a member of the Committee immediately. All such complaints shall be in writing with full details of the incident.
- On receipt of such a complaint, the Committee will immediately arrange to fully investigate all relevant details of the matter. It will do so with all possible care, sensitivity and discretion in protecting the sensibilities of the effected employee. The employee or employees, who have allegedly committed the offence, would be given all reasonable opportunity to be heard by the Committee.
- The result of this investigation will be formally recorded and communicated to the Executive Director of the Company, along with a recommendation for appropriate action.
- The Committee will normally complete this process and make its formal recommendation within 21 days after receiving the complaint unless there are exceptional circumstances.
- In the case of a multi locational context, one of the committee members will travel to the location in question as is required to ascertain the facts based on which the committee would discuss and assess the complaint in question.
- Necessary action will then be taken with regard to the offending employee or employees based on the circumstances and seriousness of the offence.
- Where the Company is legally advised that any such incident constitutes a criminal offence, the Company will inform the relevant authority, provide full details and request appropriate action. If the aggrieved employee directly takes any action, against the offending employee, either civil or criminal, the Committee, on becoming aware of such action by the aggrieved employee, shall be entitled to, suo moto, start the internal enquiry/ investigation and recommend appropriate action.
- The Company will ensure that the career interests of the complainant are not adversely affected by virtue of the individual having drawn attention to such an offence.
- In order to ensure that this important matter is not trivialized, any complaint, which, in the opinion of the Committee, is blatantly false or frivolous or has been motivated by reasons that are clearly unconnected with gender issues, would be viewed very seriously by the company and appropriate action taken against such complainants.
- The parties shall not be allowed to bring any legal practitioner to represent them in their case at any stage of the proceedings before the Internal Complaints Committee.
- If the Committee receives an anonymous reference related to sexual harassment, it will draw the attention of the senior executives concerned with the relevant business or location. The matter will be fully examined by the concerned senior management and its conclusions and plans for necessary action will be communicated to the Committee.
- Heads of departments and senior executives at all company locations will also be expected to be sensitive to any circumstances or behavior among their colleagues which appear to go against the company policy on this matter. In case they become aware of any such incidence, they will immediately inform the head of the Committee and take appropriate action as advised.
- All the Employees, Agents, Customers, Vendors, Partners and Visitors shall have access to this Policy at
any given point of time and clarification related to this Policy shall be addressed by the HR team.
- A brief shall be given to all existing employees regarding the features of this Policy immediately on formulation of the Policy and to new employees during their initial induction.
- The complaint of sexual harassment made by any employee shall be taken up with utmost seriousness by Company. However, there shall be zero tolerance for any false accusation.
- If the Internal Complaint Committee comes to a conclusion that the allegation was made with malicious intent or the aggrieved person or any other person making the complaint on behalf of the aggrieved person produced false or forged or misleading documents to prove his/her case, the Internal Complaint Committee may recommend action to be taken against the person who has made the complaint, including termination of service. In such a case, malicious intent has to be established after an inquiry, before any action is recommended. A mere inability to substantiate a complaint or provide adequate proof would not attract action as provided herein. A similar recommendation for taking action would be recommended against any witness whom the Internal Complaint Committee concludes, that he/she has given false evidence or produced forged or misleading documents.
- It is to be noted that this statement is not intended to discourage employees from coming forward with any complaints. The Company recognizes and expects that some claims may be difficult to prove or support, or may not in fact be found to raise to the level of seriousness deemed necessary to constitute Sexual Harassment. These types of complaints will not be considered to be false accusations.
- Company may make any alteration or amendment or rescind any of the clauses of this Policy as and when it finds it necessary to do so as long as it complies with the Act. Any such alterations or amendment or rescinding will be intimated to the employee.
- Nothing contained in these rules shall operate in derogation of any law for the time being in force or to the prejudice of any right of any employee under any other Rules or Law.
- Complaints relating to Sexual Harassment shall be handled and investigations will be conducted under the principles of natural justice, basis of fundamental fairness, in an impartial and confidential manner So as to protect the identity of all viz., the person bringing the charge, potential witnesses, and the person accused of improper behavior.
- Also, all efforts shall be taken to ensure objectivity and thoroughness throughout the process of investigation.
- The identity and address of the aggrieved person, respondent and witnesses must not be published or disclosed to the public or media.
- The decision of Company shall be final and binding on all. However, the same is without prejudice to any recourse that Company or the individual concerned may have against the respondent and it shall not limit or restrict the rights of the Complainant and/or Company to pursue, nor shall they be precluded from pursuing, such further and other legal actions as may be available.
In conclusion, the company reiterates its commitment to providing its employees, a workplace free from harassment where every employee is treated with dignity and respect.