The Government has recently called on businesses and organisations to play a more active role in tackling domestic abuse. This has been highlighted in recent updates surrounding the Domestic Abuse Bill and further guidance may be included as the Bill nears the final stages.
Domestic Abuse and the Workforce
Domestic abuse affects around 10% of the workforce, costing the UK economy £1.9 billion every year and around 75% of people experiencing domestic abuse are targeted at work. By taking a proactive approach, businesses can help to reduce the costs associated through absence and recruitment, as well as fulfilling a duty of care to their employees.
Over the past year many people have been working from home too, making it especially important to check on the wellbeing of staff and know how to signpost those to access support, should they require it.
How Businesses Can Help
Having specific policies and procedures for domestic abuse in place can help employers to meet their duty of care to employees, ensuring staff are supported and there is a clear process for those making disclosures.
The importance of domestic abuse policies for businesses was highlighted in a Government report released at the start of the year, with the majority of organisations involved describing policy as the best practice for addressing domestic abuse.
Training and education was also flagged as an area of good practice, enabling businesses to spot the signs of domestic abuse and have the confidence to signpost employees to specialist support.
Paid leave for domestic abuse survivors has also been suggested in the past and has been introduced successfully in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It is unlikely that this will be introduced by government legislation in the UK however, instead being left to the discretion of businesses.
Train with Leeway
We deliver regular Domestic Abuse Awareness training sessions, designed to help attendees to spot the signs of domestic abuse and provide guidance on how to signpost someone affected to access support.
The sessions can be specifically tailored to meet the needs of an organisation or with added emphasis on a certain area of interest, for instance, training specifically exploring financial abuse for banks.
During the pandemic we have adapted existing training packages to be delivered online, ensuring that many businesses and organisations are still able to access important information on supporting employees experiencing domestic abuse.
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