The Australian mining industry has taken another step in its commitment to stamping out sexual harassment with the establishment of Mineral Council of Australia’s (MCA) National Industry Code.
Setting clear expectations on MCA member companies to create a culture of respect and provide more support for their workers, the Industry Code is based on open, honest and respectful communication between all parties, and outlines clear preventative and response measures to further establish a safe environment for all.
It comes off the back of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Enquiry (2020) which has provided a comprehensive set of recommendations for the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace.
The report found that 40 per cent of workers in the mining sector had experienced sexual harassment in the past five years. It was also found that women are more than twice as likely to experience sexual harassment than their male counterparts.
As part of the Industry Code, MCA members will have to confirm their commitment to eliminating sexual harassment. They’ll also be encouraged to include the code on their websites and intranet platforms.
MCA chief executive officer Tania Constable said a big part of the Industry Code is to create a safe space for employees to raise any concerns they might have, regardless of their gender, seniority, job or location.
“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,” she said.
In conjunction with the Industry Code, MCA will provide a resource toolkit for their member companies. This will include fact sheets, guidance and templates to support the implementation of the Code.