Current and former Victoria Police employees who have experienced sexual harassment or sex discrimination in the workplace can now apply for support, restorative engagement or financial redress, following the delivery of a key commitment to Victoria Police staff by the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville today announced the start of the Restorative Engagement and Redress Scheme, which is administered by the Department of Justice and Community Safety and is independent of Victoria Police.
The scheme offers current and former Victoria Police employees who have experienced workplace sexual harassment or sex discrimination access to counselling, restorative engagement and, based on the offending behaviour, a potential financial payment.
Applications are now open, with a dedicated team available to support people who wish to apply or participate in the scheme ahead of its full commencement on 1 July 2020.
The team has been selected for their expertise working with people who have been subjected to harm in the workplace, sexual harassment and sex discrimination.
All former and current Victoria Police employees who have experienced sexual harassment or sex discrimination are eligible to apply. This includes VPS staff, uniformed members, Protective Services Officers and Police Custody Officers.
The Labor Government has worked closely with victims, the Community and Public Sector Union and the Police Association of Victoria to develop a scheme that provides support and meaningful acknowledgement of the harm that has been caused.
It delivers on a key recommendation from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Right Commission’s (VEOHRC) Independent Review into sex discrimination and sexual harassment, including predatory behaviour in Victoria Police.
The implementation of VEOHRC’s initial 20 recommendations have already led to some significant changes including specialist units to respond to workplace harm at Victoria Police, the new Zero Harm strategy, specialist training, and a parental backfill scheme.
As stated by Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville
“This is about providing meaningful, confidential and supportive engagement to Victoria Police employees who have experienced sexual harassment and sex discrimination in the workplace.”
“This kind of behaviour is unacceptable, and while there have already been significant steps undertaken to stamp out sexual harassment and sex discrimination within police, there is still is more to do. I encourage anyone who has experienced these behaviours to contact the scheme.”