“Sexual Harassment”, “Discrimination”, “Exclusion” are dirty words for any workplace. Yet, as a spectre and as a reality such attitudes and practices impact employers and employees profoundly at levels which are not just interpersonal but organizational. Effects range from the psychological to the financial.

With the enactment and implementation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, businesses in India need to adhere to certain mandatory provisions of the law to effectively safeguard their employees from sexual harassment in the workplace. Non-compliance not only increases the risk of sexual harassment complaints within the company and against the company, loss of reputation and also penalties under the law, which include fines and even cancellation of business licenses.

Evolving law such as the amendments in the Maternity Benefit Act in 2017, the changes to the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (SCST Act) in 2018, the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 & the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules 2017 are directly and indirectly impacting our workplaces and pushing them to become more inclusive and diverse.

The recent judgment of the Supreme Court on 377 was an apology to the LGBT community for its exclusion from the mainstream and has set a precedent for all courts to follow in the future.

The problem before each employer is how to “Keep it Right” - How to comply with the law whilst also maintaining a balanced approach without disturbing employee relations, managerial systems and disciplinary procedures?