AGL Energy Limited’s (AGL) Melbourne office will glow orange for 16 nights in support of the Victorian Government’s Victoria Against Violence initiative. This coincides with the United Nations 16 days of activism against gendered violence and the Say No – UNiTE to End Violence Against Women campaigns.

On 24 November Parliament House was lit up in the colour orange to mark the start of the campaign with other landmarks, including the State Library, the Arts Centre and AGL’s Melbourne office, to follow and be lit up in orange from 25 November until 10 December.

AGL Managing Director & CEO, Andy Vesey, explained AGL was proud to be part of the Victorian Government’s campaign to help raise awareness of what can be done to prevent family violence and acknowledged the tireless work of advocates, workers, counsellors and lawyers who have raised these issues publically and with businesses to drive change.

“Orange is a bright and optimistic colour, which represents a future free from violence against women and girls. That’s a future we want for our customers and employees.

“We’re turning the lights of our building orange to acknowledge the role we all play in tackling this significant societal challenge. Addressing domestic violence is the responsibility of all of us, as individuals, as businesses and as communities.

“As an essential service provider with more than 3.7 million customers and nearly 3,500 employees AGL must play a role in changing the way we support victims of domestic violence both at work and at home,” Mr Vesey said.

Victoria Against Violence aligns with an integrated domestic violence policy AGL recently introduced for customers and employees.

AGL’s new customer domestic violence policy was developed in consultation with community groups and sector experts around Australia who support customers experiencing domestic violence issues. The new policy includes:

  • Referring calls from customers raising concerns to a specialist team trained in supporting vulnerable customers and having sensitive conversations
  • Taking extra steps to protect account privacy
  • Establishing payment plans, moratoriums or where appropriate, applying debt relief
  • Connecting customers with additional support services such as the ‘1800 Respect’ hotline.

AGL is also establishing a hotline for family violence workers who may be supporting our customers, so they can dial directly through to our specialist team.

Domestic violence is a genuine workplace issue – as highlighted by a 2011 workplace survey, nearly 25 percent of employees had experienced domestic violence at some point in their life.  Half of those respondents also reported that the domestic violence affected their capacity to get back to work1.

For employees, AGL’s new policy provides workers with access to an additional 10 days of leave for those experiencing family violence to seek support, along with flexible work arrangements and being connected with counselling services.

“We want to be a workplace and a business where Australians feel comfortable in raising these issues. Regardless if you’re an employee or a customer, you should know we are ready to stand by you and deliver necessary support. Where we can’t, we’ll connect you with people who can,” explained Mr Vesey.

Looking forward AGL is working to develop stronger cross-referral networks of services and offer energy literacy and support information for community workers.

About AGL
AGL is one of Australia’s leading integrated energy companies. It is taking action to responsibly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while providing secure and affordable energy to its customers. Drawing on over 175 years of experience, AGL serves its customers throughout eastern Australia with meeting their energy requirements, including gas, electricity, solar PV and related products and services. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, solar, landfill gas and biomass.

1Family & domestic violence clearing house (FDVCH), National Domestic Violence and the Workplace Survey conducted between Feb – July 2011.