As a global leader in the mining and metals sector with over 60,000 people operating across six continents in more than 40 countries, Rio Tinto is certainly in an influential position. Rio Tinto announced an impressive package of measures to address domestic violence in its workforce. Emergency accommodation, short-term financial assistance and up to ten days additional leave are just some of the features being made available to employees who may have been affected by family or domestic violence. This support package is the first one of its kind in the Australian mining industry.
Safety of Rio Tinto’s employees is a key priority
Rio Tinto managing director Australia, Joanne Farrell, explained that safety is a key priority for Rio Tinto and that family and domestic violence is a widespread issue that needs to be addressed by not only themselves, but by businesses across Australia. “Safety is our number one priority at Rio Tinto and one of our core values and we 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. 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,” explained Joanne.
Rio Tinto will continue to train leaders and human resources teams to equip them with the skills to recognise and respond to issues of family and domestic violence in the workplace. They are working towards becoming an accredited White Ribbon workplace. The White Ribbon charity’s Workplace Accreditation Program recognises workplaces that are taking active steps to stop violence against women, accrediting them as a White Ribbon Workplace.
Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister, Simone McGurk, has praised Rio Tinto’s announcement and called on further private sector organisations to implement similar programmes. “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,” she commented.
Beyond the workplace
Rio Tinto recognises safety measures need to extend beyond the workplace and so further features of the support package include access to security plans, new telephone numbers, call screening and email protection. The benefits will be extended to 19,000 workers including 11,000 in Western Australia.
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