Sep 27th, 2017
Rio Tinto will today become Australia’s first mining company to offer a comprehensive package of measures to address domestic violence in its workforce.
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Employees who are directly affected by family or domestic violence will be eligible for emergency accommodation, short-term financial assistance and up to 10 days of extra leave to seek legal assistance, appear in court, attend counselling or relocate.
The benefits will be extended to 19,000 workers, including 11,000 in WA, and the State Government is urging other private-sector employers to follow Rio Tinto’s lead.
“At a critical time when victims need to feel safe and be supported, this leave will give Rio Tinto employees the flexibility and time to attend court and doctors’ appointments as well as see their lawyers,” Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk said.
“I call on the rest of the private sector to do the same.”
From today, at-risk Rio Tinto employees will have access to safety plans to protect them while at work, including security, new telephone numbers, screening or blocking calls and email protection.
Team leaders and human resources staff will continue to be trained to recognise and respond to family and domestic violence in the workplace.
Rio Tinto managing director, Australia, Joanne Farrell said safety was the company’s number one priority and it recognised keeping its people safe should extend 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,” she said. “Rio Tinto is taking a stand against family and domestic violence. We encourage all companies to take this up.”
The West Australian Phoebe Wearne 29/08/2017
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