Social media related harassment in the form of cyber stalking, chat and misuse of photos are on rise in Indian workplaces, says a recent survey conducted by HR consultancy KelpHR. The survey, conducted among 200 individuals across 160 companies in seven Indian cities, found that verbal and non-verbal forms of harassment are most common in Indian workplaces. The survey states with the rise of harassment via social media and virtual networks of employees, there is need to better manage incidents.
About 62 per cent of the respondents reported verbal harassment at workplace, followed by non-verbal staring stalking (53 per cent), gossiping rumours (45 per cent), physical (29 per cent), consensual relationships going bad (25 per cent) and social media (24 per cent). The report, however, says that social media harassment is on rise in the country and there is need to sensitise employees on this.
The survey was conducted by KelpHR to study the effects of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, which came in to force from December 2013. It found that in five years of its implementation, the act has helped create awareness about sexual harassment at workplace and 91 per cent of respondents believed it was enhancing awareness, 45 per cent believed the act made workplaces safer and 10 per cent of organisations saw a reduction in attrition.
About 77 per cent of employees in the survey reported that their companies were compliant with the Act, 12 per cent said their employers were partly compliant, 2 per cent reported compliance to Vishakha Act and 9 per cent reported non-compliance. While, 77.5 per cent respondents also said that the sexual harassment policy in their company was gender neutral, while 22.5 per cent said it only applied to women.
The report suggests that for further effectiveness the act should be made inclusive and gender neutral, also centralised reporting of incidents will help in better tracking. The participants in the survey were HR heads or HR representatives and Internal Committee (IC) presiding officers or members of the companies with majority of them from IT/ITES/BPO industry. It was conducted in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai-Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
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