Minister congratulates Rio Tinto on introducing paid Domestic Violence leave

Published Tuesday, 29 August, 2017 at 10:55 AM

Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

Minister for Prevention of Domestic & Family Violence Shannon Fentiman has congratulated Rio Tinto Australia on its announcement of paid leave for staff affected by Domestic Violence.

Ms Fentiman said supportive workplaces were a powerful force in ensuring victims of Domestic and Violence were supported.

“Rio Tinto has stepped up to provide a range of supports for staff at its sites across the country, including right here in Queensland,” Ms Fentiman said.

As well as 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 human resources staff to help them better respond to Domestic and Family Violence issues in the workplace.

“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,” Ms Fentiman said.

“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.”

Ms Fentiman said the Queensland State Government had led the way with up to 10 days of Domestic Violence leave for public sector workers, and adding Domestic Violence leave provisions to the Industrial Relations Act.

“Queensland was the first jurisdiction in Australia to legislate for paid domestic violence leave,” Ms Fentiman said.

Announcing the company initiative in Brisbane, Rio Tinto Coal Managing Director Sinead Kaufman said 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,” Ms Kaufman said.

"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.”


Media contact:                    Ron Goodman                      0427 781 920