Rio Tinto rolls out measures to support staff experiencing domestic abuse

Original Article: Staff | Oct. 19, 2018

Rio Tinto Group is introducing measures to protect and support North American employees who are experiencing domestic and family abuse.

Employees in Canada and the United States can now access up to 10 days of paid extra leave, flexible working hours, financial aid and emergency accommodation. The organization is also providing training for leaders and human resources team members so they’ll have the knowledge and skills to address these issues.

“The safety and well-being of the people who work with us is our [number one] priority at Rio Tinto and this extends to the home,” said Alf Barrios, chief executive of Rio Tinto Aluminium, in a news release. “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.”

In more detail, the measures include:

  • 10 days of paid leave for employees who are victims or for those 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 workers who need immediate help;
  • Access to 24 hours support services and a range of specialized assistance; and
  • Training for leaders and human resources team members to equip them with the skills to recognize and respond to issues of family and domestic violence in the workplace.

Rio Tinto introduced these measures for Australian employees last year.