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“Sexual misconduct at workplace and Indian corporate and securities law: exploring corporate disclosures of sexual harassment cases by Indian companies in #MeToo era”

Akanksha Jumde (Business and Corporate Law, CQ University, Sydney Campus, Sydney, Australia)
Nishant Kumar (Department of Law, Indian Institute of Management Rohtak, Rohtak, India)

International Journal of Law and Management

ISSN: 1754-243X

Article publication date: 6 April 2023

Issue publication date: 5 June 2023

177

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus on compliance of workplace sexual harassment-related provisions under Indian companies and securities law, based on an empirical analysis of companies’ sexual harassment-related disclosures contained within their directors’ annual reports (ARs). Specifically, sections devoted to sexual harassment-related disclosures, inbuilt within directors’ ARs for the financial year 2019–2020 for a selected sample of companies listed under the National Stock Exchange, have been analysed.

Design/methodology/approach

To examine the nature of companies’ disclosures to demonstrate their compliance with statutory requirements under the POSH law, aligned with the Companies (Accounts) Rules, 2014 and Securities and Exchange Board of India’s regulations, an empirical-based, descriptive content analysis of ARs of 200 listed companies were used.

Findings

This study primarily finds that the majority of companies from the sample have disclosed to have prepared a corporate-level policy, as required under the POSH law. As also required under the POSH law, companies, reportedly, have constituted an Internal Complaints Committee to adjudicate and dispose of incidents related to sexual misconduct reported at their workplaces. However, companies lack in disclosing qualitative information, with sufficient detail, on many important aspects related to prevention and resolution of reported cases of workplace sexual harassment.

Originality/value

This paper adds to the broader narrative of the lacunae within the disclosure and reporting requirements on enhancing the liabilities of the companies to prevent and address sexual harassment under India’s corporate and securities regulations.

Keywords

Citation

Jumde, A. and Kumar, N. (2023), "“Sexual misconduct at workplace and Indian corporate and securities law: exploring corporate disclosures of sexual harassment cases by Indian companies in #MeToo era”", International Journal of Law and Management, Vol. 65 No. 4, pp. 306-332. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLMA-06-2022-0124

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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