Australia’s mining industry has taken another step towards its commitment to eliminate sexual harassment with the release of a national code that sets clear expectations on company culture and procedures.
The Minerals Council of Australia’s (MCA) National Industry Code establishes clear expectations on companies in developing a culture of respect that empowers individuals to raise concerns in a supportive and protected way.
MCA member companies will be required to confirm their commitment to eliminating sexual harassment and adopting the Industry Code and encouraged to include the commitment and code on their websites and intranet sites.
Earlier this year, the MCA vowed to improve workplace safety and eliminate sexual harassment in the Australian mining sector, following a damming Australian Human Rights Commission Inquiry.
The report found that 40 per cent of the minerals industry workforce had experienced some form of sexual harassment in the past five years. This figure is significantly higher than the all-industries rate of 31 per cent.
The MCA said a uniform national approach would enable all employers and workers to have the same expectations for respectful workplaces regardless of their location, job, gender or seniority.
“Prevention measures focus on culture and governance, awareness and education, leadership and working environments,” it said in a statement.
“Response measures focus on creating an environment where raising concerns and reporting incidents is welcomed and encouraged, providing appropriate support and protection to affected persons, understanding how an incident occurred and why prevention measures in place were not effective and how they may be strengthened.”
The MCA will soon release a resource toolkit including fact sheets, guidance and templates to support members companies’ implementation of the code.
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