SAMARTH Life Sciences is committed to creating and maintaining a secure work environment that ensures every employee can work and pursue business together in an atmosphere free of harassment, exploitation and intimidation caused by acts of Sexual Harassment within but not limited to the office premises and other locations directly related to the Company’s business. SAMARTH Life Sciences is also committed to promote a work environment that is conducive to the professional growth of its women employees and encourages equality of opportunity.
The objective of this policy is to provide protection against sexual harassment of women at workplace and for the prevention and redressal of complaints of sexual harassment and for matters connected therewith.
All concerned should take cognizance of the fact that SAMARTH Life Sciences strongly opposes sexual harassment, and that such behaviour against women is prohibited by the law as set down in The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 and Rules framed thereunder being the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (hereinafter referred to as “Act”) as well as the terms of employment. Commission of any act of sexual harassment as defined in the Act and in this Policy shall result in strict disciplinary action, which may result in termination of employment with the company.
At SAMARTH Life Sciences, we have zero-tolerance for sexual harassment. One of our “Core Values” being “Respect for People”. We value each and every employee working with us and wish to protect their dignity and self-respect. In doing so, we are determined to promote a working environment in which persons of both genders complement each other as equals in an environment that encourages maximum productivity and to keep the personal dignity.
This policy applies to all categories of employees of the Company, including permanent management and workmen, temporaries, trainees and employees on contract at its workplace. We will not tolerate sexual harassment, if engaged in by clients or by suppliers or any other business associates.
The workplace includes:
- All offices, manufacturing and R & D locations or other premises where the Company’s business is conducted.
- All company-related activities performed at any other site away from the Company’s premises.
- Any social, business or other functions where the conduct or comments may have an adverse impact on the workplace or workplace relations.
Sexual harassment is judged by the impact on the complainant and not the intent of the Respondent. Sexual harassment as addressed in this Policy need not necessarily be from a male to a female employee, it can be vice versa as well as between individuals of same gender.
This Policy comes into force with immediate effect.
- DEFINITION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT:
- “Aggrieved Person” means a person in relation to work place whether employed or not, who alleges to have been subject to any act of sexual harassment by the Respondent.
- “Company” means SAMARTH Life Sciences and its associates.
- “Employee” means a person employed at a workplace for any work on regular, temporary, ad hoc or daily wages 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 co-worker, a contract worker, probationer, trainee, apprentice or called by any other such name;
- “Internal Complaints Committee” means a committee constituted by Company as per this Policy.
- “Respondent” means a person against whom the aggrieved person has made a complaint.
- “Sexual Harassment” includes any one or more of the following unwelcome acts or behaviour (whether directly or by implication) such as:
- Physical contact and advances; or
- A demand or request for sexual favours; or
- Making Sexually colored remarks; or
- Showing pornography (either directly or thru e-mail, SMSs, MMSs etc.,) or other offensive or derogatory pictures, cartoons, representations, graphics, pamphlets or sayings; or
- Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non - verbal conduct of sexual nature; or
- Following circumstances amongst other circumstances mentioned above may constitute sexual harassment if it occurs or is present in relation or connected with any act or behaviour of sexual harassment:
- Implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in their employment;
- Implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment in their employment;
- Implied or explicit threat about their present or future employment status;
- Interfering with their work or creating an intimidating or offensive or hostile work environment; humiliation treatment likely to affect their health or safety.
- Humiliating treatment likely to affect the health and safety of the aggrieved person.
- In addition to the instances mentioned hereinabove, any other acts or behaviour, which outrages the modesty of a female employee, will be considered as sexual harassment.
- “Workplace” includes any department, organization, undertaking, establishment, enterprise institution, office or manufacturing unit. Any place visited by the employee arising out of or during the course of employment including transportation either hired or provided by the employer for undertaking such journey.
- RESPONSIBILITIES REGARDING SEXUAL HARASSMENT:
All employees of the Company have a personal responsibility to ensure that their behaviour is not contrary to this policy.
All employees are encouraged to reinforce the maintenance of a work environment free from sexual harassment.
- COMPLAINT MECHANISM:
Whether or not such conduct constitutes an offence under law or a breach of the service rules, an appropriate complaint mechanism in the form of “Internal Complaints Committee” has been created in the Company for time-bound redressal of the complaint made by the victim.
- INTERNAL COMPLAINTS COMMITTEE:
The Company has instituted an Internal Complaints Committee for redressal of sexual harassment complaint (made by the victim) and for ensuring time bound treatment of such complaints.
Initially, and till further notice, the Internal Complaints Committee will comprise of the following four members:
- A lady member from any recognized NGOs, who are associated with Women’s welfare (Member)
- Head-Human Resources (Member)
- Employee at the level of executive or above from Sales & Marketing ( Two Members, One representing Head Office and Another representing Field Staff)
- Employee at the level of executive or above from ‘All Other Divisions’ at Head Office (Chairman / Chairperson)
The Internal 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
Minimum quorum for committee meetings will be three members.
- PROCEDURES FOR RESOLUTION, SETTLEMENT OR PROSECUTION OF ACTS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT:
The Company is committed to providing a supportive environment in which to resolve concerns of sexual harassment as under:
A. Informal Resolution Options
- When an incident of sexual harassment occurs, the victim of such conduct can communicate her disapproval and objections immediately to the harasser and request the harasser to behave decently.
- If the harassment does not stop or if victim is not comfortable with addressing the harasser directly, she can bring her concern to the attention of the Internal Complaints Committee for redressal of her grievances. The Internal Complaints Committee will thereafter provide advice or extend support as requested and will undertake prompt investigation to resolve the matter.
- Corrective action may include any of the following:
- Formal apology
- Written warning to the perpetrator and a copy of it maintained in the employee’s file.
- Change of work assignment / transfer for either the perpetrator or the victim.
- Any employee with a harassment concern, who is not comfortable with the informal resolution options or has exhausted such options, may make a formal complaint to the Chairperson of the Internal 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 e-mail. The employee is required to disclose her name, department, division and location she is working in, to enable the Chairperson to contact her and take the matter forward.
- The Chairperson of the Internal 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 mean an offence of Sexual Harassment, s/he will record this finding with reasons and communicate the same to the complainant.
- If the Chairperson of the Internal Complaints Committee determines that the allegations constitute an act of sexual harassment, s/he will proceed to investigate the allegation with the assistance of the Internal Complaints Committee.
- 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.
- The Internal Complaints Committee shall conduct such investigations in a timely manner and shall submit a written report containing the findings and recommendations to the Chairman, CEO and Head-Human Resources as soon as practically possible and in any case, not later than 90 days from the date of receipt of the complaint. The Head-Human Resources will ensure corrective action on the recommendations of the Internal Complaints Committee and keep the complainant informed of the same.
- Corrective action may include any of the following:
- Suspension or termination of services of the employee found guilty of the offence
- In case the complaint is found to be false, the Complainant shall, if deemed fit, be liable for appropriate disciplinary action by the Management, including termination of employment.
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 any investigatory process to the extent practicable and appropriate under the circumstances.
- All the Employees, 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 in SAMARTH during their initial Induction.
- The Company shall comply with all other details as set out under Section 19 of the Act to ensure that all employees are provided with the safe working environment at the workplace.
- Company shall display the notice showing the name of the Internal Complaints Committee members at its every establishment at a conspicuous place and also in the “Notice Board” in “Hi Doctor”.
10. FALSE ACCUSATIONS:
- 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 Complaints 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. SAMARTH Life Sciences 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.
11. ACCESS TO REPORTS AND DOCUMENTS:
All records of complaints, including contents of meetings, results of investigations and other relevant material will be kept confidential by the Company except where disclosure is required under disciplinary or other remedial processes.
12. 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 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.
- 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 employees.
- 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.
- The Internal Complaint Committee shall prepare an annual report with the following details and shall submit the same to the Company to include in its Annual report:
- Number of complaints of sexual harassment received during the year;
- Number of complaints disposed off during the year;
- Number of cases pending for more than 90 days;
- Number of workshops or awareness program against sexual harassment carried out;
- Nature of action taken by the employer.
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 behaviour.
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.