• Media Release

Eliminating sexual harassment for a safer Australian mining sector

The Australian minerals industry will be taking action to eliminate workplace sexual harassment in its response to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry (2020) findings.

This includes expanding the scope of the minerals industry’s safety and health policy and releasing a strong and direct statement on the importance of eliminating sexual harassment in Australian mining workplaces.

Safety is the core value of the Australian minerals industry and a safe and fair workplace is essential.

Yet with the Commission’s report finding that 40 per cent of the minerals industry workforce had experienced some form of sexual harassment in the past five years, with women more than twice as likely as men to be sexually harassed, it is clear that the industry needs to lead a decisive response and take stronger action.

The Safe, Healthy and Respectful Workplaces policy is focused on building and sustaining respectful workplaces, and combined with the industry’s commitment to eliminating sexual harassment – endorsed by the MCA Board – will ensure Australian mining companies can work together to end unacceptable and illegal behaviour.

Our workers are our greatest asset and must be valued, respected and protected.

The MCA supports the approach by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins as outlined to the MCA Board last year that workplace sexual harassment is not inevitable or acceptable, and is preventable.

Following the release of Commissioner Jenkins’ report, the MCA established a Respect@Work Taskforce to broaden its safety and health policy and develop a commitment to eliminating sexual harassment.

The Taskforce reports to the MCA National Safety and Health Working Group, building on the minerals sector’s strong and positive safety culture and systems to make changes focused on care for the whole person.

Sending a clear message across the industry and the community that sexual harassment is unacceptable and will not be tolerated will put the sector on the right path for change.

The industry’s commitment will be implemented through an industry code and toolkit to establish clear expectations and protocols on preventing and responding to sexual harassment in our workplaces.