The Allan Labor Government is backing initiatives to support respectful workplaces and combatting gendered violence in health care, education and local government.
Four new programs will reach up to 60,000 workers with grants totalling $3 million to be delivered through WorkSafe’s WorkWell Respect Fund.
The fund supports evidence-based projects to create industry-wide change. Each program will ensure workplace policy, procedures, training and resources are fit for purpose to reduce harm from workplace gendered violence.
The initiatives will be developed and run by Gippsland Women’s Health, the Health and Community Services Union, Your Community Health and Women’s Health in the South East and delivered to organisations across a range of industries and sectors.
WorkSafe will also work with the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre at Victoria University to establish a WorkWell Respect Network, which will bring workplaces together through events and learning opportunities to share knowledge to better prevent and respond to gendered violence at work.
Work-related gendered violence includes any behaviour that affects the health and safety of someone because of their gender or sexual orientation, or because they don’t conform to gender stereotypes.
It can include sexual harassment, stalking, verbal abuse, unwelcome comments or gestures, and even threats or physical violence. It can involve colleagues, supervisors, clients and customers.
A 2022 Australian Human Rights Commission survey found that one in three people had experienced workplace sexual harassment in the previous five years, and one in five in the past year.
The WorkWell Respect Fund and the WorkWell Respect Network respond directly to a recommendation of the Ministerial Taskforce on Workplace Sexual Harassment to expand WorkWell to include dedicated actions for preventing work-related gendered violence and workplace sexual harassment.
Quotes attributable to Minister for WorkSafe and the TAC Danny Pearson
“Everyone should feel safe and respected in their workplace, regardless of their gender. That’s non-negotiable.”
“We’re helping industries tailor new approaches to prevent and respond to work-related gendered violence, through improved policies, training and resources that create safe environments for all Victorian workers.”
Reviewed 21 December 2023