Mining giant announces landmark domestic violence package

Rio Tinto has become Australia’s first mining company to offer a comprehensive package of measures to address domestic violence

Mining giant announces landmark domestic violence package

Mining giant Rio Tinto has introduced a package of initiatives designed to protect and support Australian employees impacted by domestic violence.

This means Rio Tinto has become Australia’s first mining company to offer a comprehensive package of measures to address domestic violence in its workforce.

In addition to up to 10 days of paid leave for employees directly affected, the Rio Tinto staff support also includes:

•    Providing appropriate safety plans to protect at-risk employees at work including security, new telephone numbers, screening or blocking calls and email protection;
•    Short-term financial assistance and emergency accommodation as required for employees who need immediate help; and
•    Training of leaders and HR staff to help them better respond to domestic and family violence issues in the workplace.

Rio Tinto managing director Australia Joanne Farrell said safety is their "number one priority and one of their core values", and they recognise keeping each other safe extends beyond the workplace and into the home.

“Sadly, family and domestic violence is a widespread issue in society and one that Australian businesses across the country need to take steps to address,” said Farrell.

“As part of our commitment to zero harm, Rio Tinto is taking a stand against family and domestic violence by offering a broader package of additional support for employees across Australia.

“As a major Australian employer, we recognise our broader community responsibility to help address this issue, which is too often ignored.”

Rio Tinto coal managing director Sinead Kaufman added that the company was taking a stand against domestic violence by offering support across all Australian operations including Queensland mines, smelters and refineries.

“We see it as a responsibility to the communities in which we operate that our commitment to keeping each other safe extends beyond work to home,” said Kaufman.

"Safety is our number one priority and a core value. We are very proud that after 18 months of development and training we now have the policies, processes and resources in place to support employees affected by family and domestic violence.”

Under the package of measures, Rio Tinto will make up to 10 days additional leave available to directly affected employees for legal assistance, court appearances, relocation and counselling.

The Queensland minister for prevention of domestic & family violence, Shannon Fentiman, congratulated Rio Tinto on its announcement of paid leave for staff affected by domestic violence.

“Given how much time we spend at work, it makes sense to ensure that people are trained to notice if colleagues might be experiencing violence at home and offer support,” said Fentiman.

“The Not Now, Not Ever report found 95% of victims who were stalked by a violent partner experienced that harassment at work.

“It also found that between a quarter and half of women subjected to domestic violence reported having lost a job at least in part because of that violence.

“Tackling domestic and family violence is everybody’s responsibility, and I call on all businesses, big and small, to follow the example of Rio Tinto and take up the challenge.”



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