SEAT activates an anti gender-based violence protocol
- Promoted by company management and union representatives and advised by the Ana Bella Foundation, the protocol defines an action framework to protect and support victims of gender-based violence
- Work schedule flexibility, excused absences and leaves, psychological support and economic aid for medical attention are some of the most significant measures
- The company intends to launch an awareness action plan for all employees to complement this initiative
- SEAT has more than 3,000 women in its workforce, 21% of the total and one of the highest percentages in the auto industry
Today SEAT has approved the implementation of an internal gender-based violence prevention protocol with the goal of protecting the right of all female employees to live free of gender-based violence. The launch of this groundbreaking initiative has been promoted by the company’s Equality Committee, made up of SEAT labour representatives and management and advised by the renowned Ana Bella Foundation.
The document defines an action framework that provides victims with assistance and support, information on their labour rights and which activates specific measures so they can balance their work and family effectively. Furthermore, SEAT is also launching an awareness plan to educate all company employees on the need to eradicate this social problem.
Company President Luca de Meo welcomed the launch of this proposal, saying that “companies have a social responsibility to contribute to eliminating gender-based violence from society. At SEAT we advocate providing the more than 3,000 women who work for us with the greatest flexibility and protection, and in turn, activating awareness plans for the entire workforce.”
Furthermore, SEAT Vice-president for Human Resources Xavier Ros stated that “the company rejects all forms of violence, especially gender-based violence. With this initiative at SEAT we aim to take a step further in supporting and protecting women who suffer from violence, as well as their families, by offering specific in-house measures that help them improve their situation in every way possible.”
Thanks to this initiative, several support measures for victims will enter into force, the most urgent of which are work schedule flexibility and reorganisation, possible relocation to another centre and excused absences and leaves, as well as financial aid for medical and psychological attention or moving to a new home if required.
A second important group of measures aims to guarantee the safety of victims in relation with their working lives, with actions including accessing their workplace by car, the use of a company mobile phone, entry controls, location changes and monitoring schedules and transportation. In addition, victims of gender-based violence will have full access to the psychological support team of CARS, the Health Care and Rehabilitation Centre located in the Martorell facilities. All female employees recognised as victims of gender-based violence are eligible for this assistance programme with an absolute guarantee of confidentiality and respect for their privacy. Those victims who are not yet recognised as such for not having reported their situation will receive assistance from a team established within the Equality Committee to help them with the process and put them in touch with local advisors and existing care services.
Awareness and involvement in the fight against gender-based violence
SEAT is going to activate several awareness actions to enable the company’s more than 15,000 employees to detect possible cases and contribute to victim protection. In this regard, a training session open to all employees will be conducted by gender-based violence survivor Ana Bella Estévez, who will share first-hand knowledge on how to help victims. Likewise, an internal e-mail will be set up to report possible cases of gender-based violence that are detected.
The new protocol will be included in the company’s equality plan, launched by the Human Resources department together with labour representatives in 2012, which aims to develop policies that integrate equal treatment and opportunities between men and women, without directly or indirectly discriminating on the basis of gender, as well as encourage and foster measures to achieve real and effective equality in the company.