MCA provides toolkit to eliminate workplace sexual harassment

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has released its Respect@Work industry toolkit to help educate and eliminate workplace sexual harassment in the mining industry.

The toolkit builds on the minerals industry’s commitment to eliminating sexual harassment and provides general guidance on the systems that can be developed to respond to risks of sexual harassment.

The toolkit comprises a suite of fact sheets, guidance and templates.

The resources industry has been implementing processes to stamp out sexual harassment in its workplaces following recent mass reports.

In September, the Federal Government passed new reforms under the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Bill 2021 making a number of amendments to the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986Fair Work Act 2009 and Sex Discrimination Act 1984.

The fact sheets in the toolkit cover topics such as sexual harassment in the mining industry, why sexual harassment is a safety and health risk, and “casual” sexism.

The information has been drawn from a range of sources, including the Australian Human Rights Commission, Champions of Change Coalition, Safe Work Australia, COMCARE, and state-based Human Rights Commissions and Safety and Health Authorities.

Resources will continue to be added to the toolkit throughout 2022.

“MCA member companies recognise that sexual harassment occurs across society and our workplaces causing profound physical, emotional and psychological harm,” MCA chief executive officer Tania Constable said.

“The Australian minerals industry’s highest value and priority is the safety and health of its workforce, where everyone who goes to work returns home safe and healthy.”

Earlier this year mining giant Rio Tinto took a stand against sexual harassment by filing a submission to the Community Development and Justice Standing Committee’s Inquiry into Sexual Harassment Against Women in the FIFO Mining Industry.

In the 14-page submission, Rio Tinto’s provided recommendations on how the mining industry can improve at large, echoing findings from the Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report 2020 and calling for further clarity and simplicity in legislation.