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The Impact of Domestic Abuse: Work

05 Decdomestic abuse affects productivity of young artist

A recent study has found that around 122,000 women in the UK took time off work due to domestic abuse in the last year. The report, commissioned by Vodafone, was published on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25th November. The report gathered data from 107 countries and found that there were 80 million women across the globe that had experienced domestic abuse in the last year.

Social and Economic Costs of Domestic Abuse

In many cases, taking time off work because of domestic abuse will equate to a loss in earnings, especially if the employee is off for a lengthy period. This may lead to someone losing their job due to continued poor attendance. A lot of the women interviewed for the report found that their productivity at work decreased, whilst some women stated that they stopped going to work completely.

Perpetrators of domestic abuse may encourage a partner to quit work, often meaning that the sole income source is through the perpetrator. This removes independence from the person experiencing the abuse and makes them heavily reliant on the perpetrator. For instance, they may not have money to buy clothes or see family/friends, therefore becoming isolated from support networks. 

When the Domestic Abuse Bill was released, the government’s accompanying information revealed that, in year ending March 2017, the social and economic costs of domestic abuse totalled approximately £66 billion – with £14 billion through lost output due to time off work and reduced productivity.

Paid Domestic Abuse Leave

Women’s Aid have announced that they will be campaigning for measures to be included in the Domestic Abuse Bill that would ensure that people who are experiencing domestic abuse receive paid leave. This would allow victims time to get support, without having concerns about potentially losing jobs. 

This is a policy that was adopted by New Zealand in 2018, giving people an additional ten days of leave on top of annual holiday or sick leave. The policy has been well received, which has led to calls for it to be introduced in the UK.


Businesses can also play a key role in reducing the costs of domestic abuse – by having effective policies in place to support employees experiencing domestic abuse. Staff who have undergone training are able to spot the signs of domestic abuse and signpost a person to access support.

Leeway provides training for businesses, helping them to spot the signs of domestic abuse and support employees experiencing it. We also help businesses to draft policies and procedures designed to support staff members experiencing domestic abuse.

If you think your business could benefit from domestic abuse awareness training, you can find out more about the courses we offer by visiting the training page of our website or calling 0300 561 0077.

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