Nine extends employee assistance program as Don Burke stories continue

As revelations of former Nine star Don Burke’s misbehaviour continue, the network this evening announced it will provide a counselling service for current and former staff.

Network boss Hugh Marks made the announcement as the organisation deals with allegations management failed to take action on complaints against the disgraced presenter.

Nine CEO, Hugh Marks: “I believe Nine can take a strong leadership role”

In an all-staff memo released late this afternoon Marks announced former employees will be offered counselling services while current staff and contractors will be covered by the company’s current employee assistance scheme.

Marks also flagged a tougher line on misbehaviour,  telling staff: “Any matters which are raised and require further action will be addressed appropriately either internally or, if required, externally of Nine.”

The CEO also warned staff the network had a zero tolerance of inappropriate behaviour and assured staff that management would follow proper procedures with any complaint.

The full statement to staff follows;

In light of the appalling allegations this week of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct by Don Burke I wanted to write to all staff to reaffirm Nine’s commitment to maintaining a culture that is inclusive, supportive and respectful.

In part we do this through our Nine Learning training programs. Thanks to all those that have participated.  To those who haven’t please ensure you complete the assigned modules.

But importantly it is fundamental that as a team we all share some simple expectations. And it is in this context that we all accept our role in ensuring we have and maintain a culture that has zero tolerance of inappropriate workplace behaviour. Everyone is entitled to come to work at Nine confident that our workplace is safe and that inappropriate behaviour will be dealt with effectively.

Nine has a number of policies and procedures in place to ensure expectations in relation to behaviour in the workplace are clear. We also have clear guidelines on how we manage grievances, misconduct and support staff if any such concerns arise. Your team leaders and Nine’s HR team have the resources and tools needed to respond effectively and follow clear guidelines when dealing with misconduct, harassment, discrimination and bullying issues. There are also clear procedures to be followed if someone has a grievance to report.

As you are aware, on top of these internal systems Nine partners with Converge International to provide you with an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to help you deal with any challenges, concerns or issues that may be affecting you at work or at home. You can contact this confidential service directly on 1300 687 327 or via email: at The service is available from 8.00am – 6.00pm Monday to Friday.

All of these policies and guidelines apply to everyone associated with Nine. That includes our staff, contractors, sub-contractors, agents, consultants and temporary staff. Copies of these policies and procedures are available on the intranet under the Human Resources tab.

As much as we might like to, sometimes we unfortunately cannot rewrite history. But we can and will take steps to ensure that former employees, perhaps with old grievances, are supported. So we have set up a unique phone line for them to call 1300 554 818 and will provide an independent counselling service to report instances of past behaviour they would like addressed. Former Nine employees with complaints simply provide their personal contact details and HR will follow up directly on a strictly confidential basis.  The counselling will be provided at no cost to them and Nine will support the person to work through any issues that relate to their time at Nine.

It’s my job as CEO, and that of your senior leaders, to ensure that people who have been treated poorly will be heard, and that they will get appropriate support if they need it. Any matters which are raised and require further action will be addressed appropriately either internally or, if required, externally of Nine.

This is an important issue for all Australian workplaces.  I believe Nine can take a strong leadership role in our industry to make sure we do the right thing by our people, now, and into the future.


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