The Andrews Labor Government has welcomed the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission’s (VEOHRC) final review into sexual discrimination and sexual harassment in Victoria Police.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville today joined VEOHRC Commissioner Kristen Hilton and Chief Commissioner of Police Graham Ashton at the launch of the phase three audit report.
VEOHRC found that Victoria Police has created strong foundations for achieving lasting change, is driving organisational change by addressing barriers to gender equality and has made significant progress in implementing the phase one recommendations.
Meaningful steps have been taken since Victoria Police commissioned VEOHRC’s review in 2014, including:
- A new parental leave backfill scheme, supported by the Labor Government’s record $3 billion investment, to help manage absences and break down stigma associated with taking parental leave
- Increased leadership opportunities for women across the organisation, with 40 per cent of new command appointments being women
- An increase in the representation of women at all ranks up to superintendent.
As part of a Phase One recommendation, the government is also establishing a restorative engagement and redress scheme for those people who have experienced workplace sexual discrimination or sexual harassment while working at Victoria Police.
The restorative engagement and redress scheme is in the design phase and consultations are taking place with key stakeholders to inform all aspects of the scheme.
The VEOHRC report highlights the significant work that has been achieved and sets out a 10-year roadmap to address workplace inequality and prevent discrimination – including 16 further recommendations.
Many of the new recommendations build on the original recommendations and will help Victoria Police better address the cultural and structural changes needed within the organisation.
The government will continue to work with Victoria Police to address any matters identified by VEOHRC.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville
“I thank the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission for the invaluable work it has undertaken since 2014 to make Victoria Police a safer, more inclusive and equal workplace for all members and staff.”
“The final report provides a roadmap for continuous reform over the next decade and provides detailed steps on how we get there.”
“We’ll continue to support Victoria Police in its ongoing efforts towards a fairer and more representative police force, free of sexism, bullying and harassment.”