The Vodafone Foundation has been working to combat domestic abuse for over 10 years. They were jointly responsible for the development of the TecSOS handset which enables direct contact with the police without saying a word. Most recently, the foundation funded a study into workplace responses to domestic abuse. The independent study by Durham University Centre for Violence and Abuse and Ipsos MORI aimed to uncover the barriers to supporting colleagues that are experiencing domestic abuse.
The researchers surveyed over 200 Human Resources directors from large and medium sized UK organisations. A large majority (86%) agreed that employers have a duty of care to support employees who are experiencing domestic abuse. The HR directors identified 5 ways in which domestic abuse had impacted their organisation:
However, 54% reported that Line Managers in their organisation would not know how to manage and support a colleague who was experiencing domestic abuse.
Legal and Moral Duties
An estimated 10% of the UK workforce is affected by domestic abuse. The cost to the economy from lost productivity is around £1.9 billion per year. In addition to these economic reasons, there is the legal duty that an employer has to care for employees’ welfare – as laid out in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1975. Supporting a person who is suffering is of course the right thing to do regardless of the economic or legal situation.
How Leeway Can Help
The first step in organising an effective workplace response to domestic abuse is to ensure that key personnel are trained to spot the signs of domestic abuse and know how to act if a colleague discloses to them. Leeway run Domestic Abuse Awareness Training sessions every month. These are suitable for health professionals, public sector employees and businesses of any size. The three-hour session equips attendees with the knowledge to:
We also offer bespoke training sessions that can be tailored to the specific needs of your organisation.
If you would like to know more about our training sessions, please take a look at the training pages of our website or call our reception on 0300 561 0077.
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