Rio Tinto announces support for North American employees affected by family and domestic abuse

16 October 2018

Rio Tinto announces support for North American employees affected by family and domestic abuse

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Rio Tinto today announced a package of measures to protect and support employees in North America who are experiencing domestic and family abuse, or who have an immediate relative who is experiencing abuse.

Employees can now access up to 10 days of paid extra leave, flexible work hours, financial aid and emergency accommodation.

Rio Tinto will also provide training to equip leaders and human resources team members with the knowledge and skills to address family and domestic violence issues.

Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios said “The safety and wellbeing of the people who work with us is our number one priority at Rio Tinto and this extends to the home.

“Domestic abuse affects so many people throughout society and there is a clear role for employers to play in addressing this issue.

“For families affected by domestic or family abuse, having a supportive workplace can be a lifeline at a very difficult time.

“We hope taking this step will not only protect and support people in need, but help to educate and drive change in attitudes towards abuse.”

Rio Tinto is being supported in its roll-out of the measures by Michael Kaufman, co-founder of White Ribbon, a global campaign of men working to end violence against women.

Dr Kaufman said “This is a significant step to have Rio Tinto lead the way for companies in North America and really step up to play a role in addressing domestic and family abuse.

“This is an issue in communities around the world and we all must play a role in ending it.”

The package of measures include:

  • 10 days additional paid leave available to employees who are victims or employees with immediate family who are victims of family and/or domestic violence and abuse
  • Advice and services for implementing 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 can also be provided as required to employees who need immediate help
  • Access to 24 hours support services and a range of specialised assistance
  • Training for 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

The measures were implemented by Rio Tinto in Australia last year, where the company is now White Ribbon accredited.