MEDIBANK LEADS THE WAY WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SUPPORT FOR EMPLOYEES
Medibank is the first health insurer to introduce uncapped paid leave to any employee experiencing domestic and family violence.
Since 2016, Medibank employees experiencing domestic and family violence have been supported with 10-days of paid leave to meet legal, medical, relocation and other administrative commitments, as well as counselling. Under the new expanded policy, employees will now be able to access uncapped paid domestic and family violence leave and not have to dip into other leave entitlements.
Medibank’s approach reflects the company’s determination to better support people dealing with the challenges of domestic and family violence.
Medibank’s Chief Executive Officer Craig Drummond said domestic and family violence was a community issue and an important one for the company to focus on.
“As a large employer we have an obligation to provide the right support to any person who is experiencing domestic and family violence and offer them greater workplace support. We have the capacity to drive change in our community and this is a responsibility that we take seriously,” Mr Drummond said.
“Medibank’s commitment to support employees with uncapped paid leave reflects the practical need for people experiencing domestic and family violence to maintain their financial independence. Our employees will now have greater flexibility in managing their work schedule,” he said.
Medibank’s Group Executive of People and Culture Kylie Bishop said it made the decision to offer uncapped leave because of the unique nature of every domestic and family violence situation.
“We have found since first introducing 10-days paid leave that in some cases it was insufficient for the complex situations that some of our employees faced,” Ms Bishop said.
“Ensuring the safety of yourself and often your children, including the relocating of home and schools, together with the requirement to take time off work for legal assistance and counselling can take longer than 10-days. We want to support our people in every way we can, not burden them with loss of income.”
Ms Bishop added that for the first time Medibank was acknowledging the organisation not only employs people who are experiencing, or are at risk of domestic and family violence, it may also employ those who use violence.
“We also offer support to employees who may be engaging in violent behaviour, with referral pathways to counselling or other appropriate services,” she said.
Former Chair of the Commonwealth’s National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, and member of the 1800RESPECT National Sector Advisory Group, Libby Lloyd AM commended Medibank.
“It is exciting that Medibank is making uncapped paid domestic and family violence leave available for their employees. This reform recognises some women may require quite lengthy and complex legal or other assistance to get themselves and their children out of harmful and dangerous relationships and back on their feet. We need all workplaces to offer safe, respectful and supportive work environments and this initiative by Medibank marks an important step along that path,” Ms Lloyd said.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.
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