Australia steps up efforts to address work-related gendered violence

Organisations can now apply for grants through the WorkSafe WorkWell Respect Fund and join the WorkWell Respect Network for further support.
By: | April 19, 2023

Workplaces in Victoria, Australia, have been encouraged to apply for grants though the WorkSafe WorkWell Respect Fund to prevent work-related gendered violence, including sexual harassment. Boosted by an A$4 million (US$2.69 million) injection in funding by the government, organisations are eligible for grants of between A$500,000 (US$336,778) and A$1 million (US$673,557).

Launched alongside the fund, the WorkWell Respect Network is designed to bring workplaces together through events and learning opportunities and to encourage the sharing of 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, sexual orientation, or because they do not conform to gender stereotypes. It can include sexual harassment, stalking, verbal abuse, unwelcome comments or gestures, or threats of physical violence and can involve colleagues, supervisors, clients, or customers.

The initiatives respond directly to a recommendation of the Ministerial Taskforce on Workplace Sexual Harassment established in 2021 and reflects the findings of a 2022 survey by the Australian Human Rights Commission, which found that one in three people had experienced workplace sexual harassment in the previous five years.

READ: Gender inequality still plagues Australian workplaces

Natalie Hutchins, Victoria’s Minister for Women and Education, said, “Equality and a safe workplace are non-negotiable. We are continuing to invest in new initiatives that will support everyone regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.”

Applications for the WorkWell Respect Fund and tenders to lead the WorkWell Respect Network close on 19 May 2023.