Domestic abuse and employers

Domestic abuse and employers

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We revised our Domestic Abuse Policy for employees in 2019, developing it to provide practical guidance on facilitating disclosures and offering paid leave for people experiencing domestic abuse who need time to move home, access specialist support services. This is also open to people who are using abusive behaviour where they are using the time to engage with perpetrator behaviour change programmes. This is on a case by case basis.

Addressing domestic abuse at work - Standards and guidelines (PDF, 4.3MB)

The policy has the full support of our Members, Senior Leadership, Trade Unions and managers and let to several key milestones being met in 2019 and 2020:

  • we signed up to the GMB Union’s Domestic Abuse Charter as a significant national and workplace public commitment
  • we were awarded Everyone’s Business Award in January 2020 in recognition of our best practice approach. We were of the first 5 organisation to achieve it. Read more on the Hestia website
  • we have delivered awareness training to over 450 managers across our council services (499 anticipated by end of 2020/21!)
  • we have built in staff support to our locally commissioned domestic and sexual violence service specification and ensured our perpetrator interventions were open to staff where there is no conflict of interest
  • we have built in domestic abuse questions to our employee Health and Wellbeing Surveys
  • we have a domestic abuse ambassador scheme made up of trained employee volunteers who are supportive points of contact that can offer emotional and practical guidance and facilitate access to specialist service provision. Led by our MARAC coordinator, they come from different service areas. The Ambassadors have created posters for spaces where people might not have access to digital platforms and have used a symbol created by local survivors within their signature lines and as their MS Teams avatars to mark themselves as safe people to talk to. The symbol is a blossom tree - a symbol of hope and recovery
  • in 2020, we won the Best Organisational Development Initiative Award at the PPMA Excellence in People Management Awards for our approach to domestic abuse

We want to be able to share our good practice, and the learning we have developed along the way. We would be happy to be contacted by HR colleagues in any sectors to discuss our employment policy and approach:

Gail Clark, Director of Workforce Change, email

Neil James, HR Manager (Workforce Strategy and Policy), email