Domestic Abuse and the Coronavirus– How can Employers help

A staggering 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men suffer from domestic abuse in their lifetime and domestic abuse costs businesses £1.9 billion every year due to decreased productivity, time off work, lost salary and sickness payments. In the UK, nearly 2 million people experienced domestic abuse in the last year alone.

 

Domestic Abuse and the Coronavirus

It has been reported that national lockdown restrictions introduced in response to the Covid pandemic, along with that the increases in home working have significantly reduced potential escape routes from abusive situations, this has led to a spike in the number of domestic abuse incidents during the pandemic.

 

As a HR Outsourced provider, we consider all aspects of health and wellbeing, at times many may consider domestic abuse not a workplace or indeed a HR matter it really is, we have been looking into how we can further support Employers who want to make a real difference, on average one third of a working adult’s life spent in the workplace, this places the Employer in a position to create a workplace that is not just supportive but one that has a culture that identifies the issues and the stigma surrounding domestic abuse and one that can then create  a positive culture within its wellbeing strategies and policies.

One of the ways we are now pushing forward is promoting support to employers is through Business in the Community and PHE, they have published a domestic abuse toolkit that helps not just to raise awareness of the issue with Employers it also provides guidance on how they can support those affected by it.

 

We have taken an in-depth look at the Toolkit, it has been developed in consultation with Employers, the overall aim is to help Employers to spot the signs and symptoms of domestic abuse, which include:

  • Frequent absence, lateness or needing to leave work early;
  • Reduced quality and quantity of work or missing deadlines;
  • Changes in the way an employee communicates – a large number of personal calls or texts or a strong reaction to personal calls; and
  • Physical signs and symptoms such as unexplained or frequent bruises or other injuries.

 

 

The toolkit also gives key actions for Employers:

 

  1. To – Acknowledge

Employers can use the toolkit to help understand the issues and acknowledge, every employer has a responsibility to address domestic abuse. By acknowledging this will enable Employees to openly discuss this topic, it also provides a supportive workplace.

  1. To – Respond

It advises Employers to review their policies and processes to ensure they are providing a supportive workplace and can respond to disclosures in the most appropriate way.

  1. To- Refer

It provides access to organisations who can help employees affected by the issue, this provides Employers the support function they need and confidence to signpost in the correct and most effective way.

 

 

Where to get your Toolkit

The Domestic Abuse  has been developed by Business in the Community, in association with PHE and can be accessed here Toolkit  The Toolkit fully supports SME’s, it is packed with information and easy to use.

 

 

Get in touch with us

As always we are happy to provide you with support, we are not experts in this area and do not proclaim to be, we do offer FREE HR advice in confidence at any time should you wish to speak to us about any concerns you have, we can then signpost you to the very best person to help you.

Should you need any other assistance HR and Employment Law related please do get in touch for a FREE Consultation, you can book straight into our calendars below.

https://calendly.com/hr-andyou/30min or email us at [email protected]

Author

Lulu Crossland

 

 

 

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