A stress-free and safe work environment is something we owe our employees and it's non-negotiable. As we welcome more women into the workforce, it’s important to make it known through various actions and initiatives that they are entering a sexual harassment-free zone. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2013 has detailed directives to ensure that employers take the necessary steps towards this.
Policy matters apart, the commitment on the part of the employer is what’s important. The biggest problem in India, according to a survey, is not merely poor policies, but lack of trained human power to handle cases of workplace sexual harassment. This is because there’s an absence of commitment from senior management to accord due importance to issues of workplace sexual harassment in their organisational agendas. At the workplace, women meet various internal as well as external customer. Therefore, it's only fair that we sensitise our employees to ensure their safety.
We, at RAI, have sensitised each of our employees towards provisions of the law, through an online awareness program. On completion of the module, every employee received a certificate. Furthermore, we have formulated an anti-sexual harassment policy, in addition to forming an Internal Complaints Committee to handle grievances. We have also displayed posters at prominent places declaring RAI’s stand on the issue. We have zero tolerance towards any kind of sexual harassment of women at workplace.
This handbook is our endeavour to make compliance easier for organisations in retail. And I thank Comply Karo for its efforts in spreading awareness about the issue and sensitising more and more retail companies.
I appeal to all RAI member organisations to do everything they can to make their respective organisations safe haven for women. It will go a long way in making not just your company but the industry a preferred employer.
Kumar RajagopalanCEO, Retailers Association of India